Very young or small trees may be quite easily pruned by a home owner. Tools that a home owner might need are: using hand shears, lopper shears or pruning saw (for limbs six inches or less in diameter.) Larger trees represent a serious landscaping investment. Usually the tree trimming techniques and equipment required for large trees jobs means the tree services of arborists are required for good, long-term results.
Arborists must take into consideration many factors in deciding when deciding upon their tree trimming techniques. Some of the factors are the tree species, the growth habits of the tree, the location of the tree, the time of year. Major pruning is typically scheduled in a dormant time of year to be least stressful to the tree, although removal of dead and diseased limbs happens year round. Heavy pruning after the spring growth spurt is typically avoided.
Proper Tree Trimming Techniques Cap Removal at 25% of Canopy
A widely accepted guideline for the amount of growth to remove from a tree is no more than one-fourth of the tree’s leaf-bearing canopy. Here at Canopy Tree Service we strive to keep the amount of removal to less than 20 percent, especially on the older and larger trees. Just as an 85 year old man takes longer to heal from a broken leg than a six year old, a tree’s advancing age may mean that it has less energy to close pruning wounds. Wound dressings used to be applied to help the trees out, but the U.S. Forest Service has studied tree wound closure and indicated that wound dressings or paint may actually slow the healing process. Today, most tree trimming techniques and accepted practices avoid wound dressings.
Trees Feel the Texas Sun too!
Another reason to avoid taking more than about 20 percent of the canopy is to protect the tree from the hot Texas sun. The parts of a tree that are not routinely exposed to the sun can actually be shocked by the sudden presence of sunny, 95 degree San Antonio summer days. A shocked tree that is under stress can be more susceptible to disease and insect infection.
The location of the limbs to be removed has to be considered. Another common tree trimming technique is to divide a tree into 3 parts and leave the top two parts with foliage. This keeps the ratio of living crown to tree height in balance. The size of the branches and the angles of the branches are also evaluated. The New Mexico State University has an article with great illustrations of tree branches and common names here. Common tree removal equipment used by arborists are chainsaws, ropes, and pole pruners. If you have a tree you would like pruned please call us for a free estimate.