Pruning is necessary for some types of trees, and can make trees more aesthetically pleasing. Pruning can also be a form of preventative maintenance, promoting health in the tree and protecting the tree and people around it from dead branches. Pruning trees while they are young and still forming can prevent problems later on. Deciding why and when to prune can be easy with just a few tips.
Why Prune Trees
Trees may be pruned for health by removing dead or dying branches or branches infested by insects. Maintenance pruning may be performed to encourage the development of fruits or flowers, or to form the tree in a way that is aesthetically pleasing or conforms to landscape design. Pruning may also protect people and property by reducing the likelihood that dead branches will fall or that branches will interfere with utility lines, street lights or traffic signals.
Pruning Young Trees
Many young trees go without pruning for several years, which may cause problems that require more extensive and expensive pruning later on. Pruning young trees can help them grow to be structurally sound. Start pruning young trees in the first dormant season after planting. Shape the tree and remove branches that cross or grow toward the trunk. As the tree grows, you can raise the crown by gradually removing lower branches, as well as removing branches to increase spacing along the trunk.
Pruning Older Trees
Most large trees require the pruning services of qualified professionals. The crown may be thinned by removing selected branches to increase air circulation and light penetration. Lower branches on the trunk may be removed to raise the crown and allow more clearance below the tree. If necessary, the crown may be reduced, either by topping the tree or by removing large branches at the top of the tree.
When to Prune Trees
Trees should typically be pruned late in the dormant season. Pruning a tree late in the winter, before new spring growth starts, limits the exposure of fresh wounds before spring growth seals the wounds. Trees that bloom on the prior year’s growth and bloom early in the season should be pruned right after they finish blooming. Some trees, such as maple, butternut, walnut and birch, may bleed excessive amounts of sap when pruned during the winter. These trees can be pruned in the late spring or early summer, once the leaves are fully expanded. All other trees should be pruned in the winter.
Pruning trees can be a lot of work. If you don’t want to do all of the work yourself, or if you want to prune branches from the crown of a large tree, you may want to hire an arborist in Indianapolis. A trained professional will be able to prune your trees correctly and will have the proper equipment for pruning large trees.