The secret to having beautiful and healthy trees is to prune them early on so they can grow tall with great form. This is not always possible, especially if you have moved into a home with existing trees that have already matured. If the previous owners did a bad job taking care of these trees, it will make the job of pruning them very difficult. There are ways to avoid this problem though. Making these 2 mistakes while pruning can risk the health of the tree or cause it to look bad.
Cutting Branches At The Incorrect Spot
You will notice a ring around the limbs on where they join together with the tree's main trunk, which is called a branch collar. It actually contains cells designed to protect your tree from becoming damaged. Limbs that die naturally will fall off near the tree's collar, which helps protect the trunk.
Never cut a dead branch by making the cut flush with the tree's trunk or by cutting into the tree's collar. You should not be leaving stubs either, because stubs can allow insects and infections to enter the tree and damage it. Prune next to your tree's collar so that it can naturally heal over time just as if the tree branch fell off on its own.
Older trees have nutrients throughout the entire tree, and pruning the branches too quickly can change the way that the tree disperses nutrients and damage the tree's health. It's important to avoid aggressive pruning, even though it will require a couple years to get a tree into the shape that you want.
Topping a tall tree is an aggressive pruning technique that should be avoided. It involves cutting off the very top of a tree, which will damage the tree's overall structural stability. This is mistakenly done if a tree becomes too tall and a homeowner simply chops off a part that is now touching their home.
Lion-tailing is when the base of a tree is trimmed too closely to the trunk. It will expose the trunk to excess sunlight, which causes problems with the tree's natural photosynthesis process.
It's easy to trim a couple branches on your tree, but if you do not feel confident to do major pruning you should call a tree service company in your area, like Able Scape, Inc. They can ensure the proper steps are taken that will keep your mature tree healthy and beautiful for years to come.