Gardening Landscaping

When Do You Prune Trees? (And Other Essential Tree Pruning Questions)

When Do You Prune Trees? (And Other Essential Tree Pruning Questions)

Trees are the most valuable part of your home’s landscape design. In fact, an established tree can add as much as $10,000 to your home’s value.

Keeping your trees in good shape is the best way to preserve and increase your home’s property value. Regular tree trimming is the best place to start, but if you’re like most homeowners, the thought of pruning your own trees can seem overwhelming.

When do you prune trees on your property? How do you even know which trees need trimming? Can you handle it on your own?

Here’s what you need to know to keep your trees in great shape year-round.

So, When Do You Prune Trees in Your Yard?

Ultimately, the best time to prune trees depends on where you’re located and the types of trees you have in your yard. Some need pruning in spring and summer while others benefit most from tree trimming during the winter months.

If you’re not sure what your trees need, your best option is to speak with a landscaping service or tree care expert. They’ll be able to inspect your trees for wear and tear and can recommend the best pruning schedule for your yard.

Keep in mind that there may be times that emergency tree trimming will be necessary. If trees are growing too close to your roof, powerlines, or are clearly dying, trimming them will keep both your property and your trees safer.

Why Does Pruning Matter?

Pruning is essential for helping trees grow well during the growing season. It removes excess growth that puts strain on the tree’s resources and threatens the integrity of the rest of the tree.

It also sends signals to the tree that it’s time to start producing new growth. This helps you get the leaves and blooms you love throughout the year and helps make your landscaping stand out from other yards in the neighborhood.

Not pruning regularly puts your trees at risk for damage and disease.

Letting trees grow uncontrolled and unchecked increases the likelihood of insect infestations, plant disease, and fungus. The more you stay on top of trimming trees, the healthier they’ll be.

Can You Cut Too Much?

There’s a right and a wrong way to prune trees and the key to how to trim tree branches is to only remove what you absolutely have to. If you cut too much of the branch or limb at once, your trees won’t thrive.

The more you take off, the larger the wound you leave in the bark. While the tree can heal small incisions quickly, larger ones take time.

Insects and pests love to feed off the sap that the tree puts out in an attempt to seal off the damaged area.

The larger the damaged area is, the harder it will be for the trees to heal and the more vulnerable the rest of the tree will become. Instead of getting overenthusiastic, be mindful of how much you’re cutting at once. When in doubt, play it safe and remove the smallest amount possible.

You can always go back and trim the tree again if you need to remove more growth.

What Tools Do You Need?

The right tools can make trimming trees much easier. Even better, it will reduce the amount of damage the trimming causes.

Invest in a small handsaw to power through smaller branches. Get a sharp pair of garden trimmers to deal with twigs and new growth and avoid using power tools when possible.

Hand tools give you the most control and make it easier to take small amounts of growth off at once. Just make sure to get them sharpened every few months. This will make it easier to use your tools and keeps them from damaging the tree.

Does Pruning Help Deal with Insects?

Regular tree trimming is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of insect infestations on your property. It gets rid of damaged and decaying growth that insects love to eat and nest in, but most importantly, it keeps insects and rodents from getting into your house.

The larger your trees are and the closer they are to your house, the easier it is for insects and rodents to go from the trees to your roof. Once they’re on your roofline, it’s only a matter of time until they find a way into your attic and crawlspaces.

Keeping your trees trimmed will make those access points few and far between.

What Happens If You Don’t Prune Your Trees

Not pruning your trees may not seem like a huge problem. After all, no one prunes trees out in nature and they’re able to thrive.

However, when the trees are in your yard, letting them grow uncontrolled isn’t an option. If you don’t prune your trees, you put your house, your property, and your family’s safety at risk.

Falling limbs can do serious damage, totaling cars and injuring people on your property. Regular tree trimming and branch cutting will help you prevent falling limbs from becoming a safety hazard.

Should You Ever Call a Professional?

Once you know when to trim trees on your property, you’re able to do it on your own, but that doesn’t mean you should. If the limbs that need trimming are too high up or are too large to handle on your own, call a professional.

If you’re worried about your ability to climb a ladder or to trim your trees without hurting them, call a professional.

There’s nothing to feel ashamed of and experienced tree trimming pros will be able to get the job done quickly.

Now You’re Ready to Prune Your Trees

Regular tree trimming is the key to keeping your trees and your landscaping happy and healthy year-round. If you’ve been asking “when do you prune trees?” this guide should help you understand what you need to do to keep your trees in good shape.

Keep in mind that your trees are unique and the amount of trimming they need may not be the same as what your neighbors’ trees need to thrive. The best thing you can do is speak with an experienced arborist and let them assess your trees’ health and figure out how often you need to trim your trees.

Looking for more tips to help you keep your landscaping beautiful? Check out our latest posts.

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