Pruning a tree is trimming away the dead or overgrown branches on a tree or shrub, and it is important for many reasons. Most importantly, it keeps you, your family, and your property safe. Dead or overhanging limbs can be a safety hazard to people, power lines, and building structures. Pruning itself can also be dangerous. Here’s three things to consider when pruning your trees.
A tree’s structure can become unbalanced if it loses a limb or its growth is retarded in some way early in life. Pruning can help get it back and balance so it can continue to grow strong. It will also make for a more aesthetically pleasing tree. A tree can also develop two leaders, the part of the tree at the very top that growth comes from. Pruning will correct this. Proper pruning can also encourage a tree to produce more fruit.
Let the Light Shine
If you have a lot of trees in your yard, you may have too much shade from a thick overstory. Pruning will open the canopy, allowing the sunlight to penetrate. This will allow other herbaceous plants to grow as well as give more energy to the trees you already have.
It’s All About Timing
If a tree suffers some kind of sudden damage, like from a storm, and it poses a safety hazard, of course it should be pruned immediately. The same goes for a dead limb hanging over your home or sidewalk. But in general, trees should be pruned during their dormant period in late winter or very early spring, before they begin budding or flowing sap. Just like any living creature, trees can become stressed from pruning but insects and fungus won’t be able to take hold during the cold months.
It’s also important to not prune too much of the tree at one time. A professional arborist or landscaper will know exactly what is best for your trees.