Making sure trees receive enough sunlight and water is important in keeping them healthy and strong. But one part of tree health that often gets overlooked is pruning. It may seem counterproductive to take parts of a tree away but doing so is crucial for a few different reasons. Here are some benefits, methods, and tools used for tree pruning.
Benefits of Pruning
The main reason to prune your tree is to ensure it stays healthy for many years to come. But pruning offers a few more benefits as well. One is to maintain the tree's structural integrity so that the risk of falling branches and the number of lost limbs is decreased. Pruning keeps outdoor areas safe and ensures that falling branches do not endanger people or nearby buildings. Pruning also helps to keep the tree pleasant looking.
Some more benefits of pruning include:
- Corrects irregular growing habits
- Allows for earlier bloom
- Increases the size of the tree's flowers and fruits
- Helps prevent disease and keeps pests at bay
If you are planning on moving the tree, pruning is especially beneficial as it will help the tree to develop a tighter root structure that can help to alleviate the shock of being transplanted.
Methods of Pruning
Pruning should usually be done in the late fall or winter. It is not recommended to prune in the late summer because this encourages new growth which would not survive colder temperatures. Besides knowing when to prune, it is important to understand the different pruning techniques.
Here are three basic methods to pruning:
- Thinning - removes certain branches to reduce the density of the tree without reducing the height
- Reducing - removes larger branches in order to decrease the height
- Heading - forces new buds to grow by trimming the growing tips of the shoots
Tools for Pruning
Pruning requires the use of sharp objects. Here are three types of pruning tools:
- Anvil pruner - prunes dry branches and stems
- Bypass pruner - prunes green and growing stems
- Ratchet pruner - recommended for those who need to be careful of wrist strain
Tools such as loppers and saws are also used in order to trim away larger branches. Some people might not feel comfortable using these types of tools. Others might feel uncertain of how to go about pruning trees, and are worried they will cause more harm than good. If this is you, find a tree service company (such as Arbor Man Tree Care) that offers tree pruning services.