Pruning and shaping trees is an accepted way to encourage general tree health, remove damage, and promote new growth over the coming years. However, some homeowners may have questions about this type of tree trimming process, such as how much or how little should be removed or when this action can safely be performed. If you have recently become a new homeowner and want to learn some important tips for managing this type of care for your trees, this information will help.
Avoid trimming and shaping in autumn
After the stresses of spring and summer growth, often including flowering or the production of fruit, nuts, or acorns, even large trees can be at their most fragile when fall weather arrives. Tree care professionals advise against pruning during the fall because any wounds inflicted on the tree during this time will take longer to heal.
The fungi and spores that result in decay are also more apt to infect cuts and openings in tree bark during this time frame. Because of this, homeowners should always limit fall tree trimming activities to instances when damage or disease makes trimming unavoidable.
Try late winter trimming to promote growth
Depending on the climate where your home is located, routine trimming should be done primarily during the later winter months when tree growth is dormant and sap levels are at their lowest. Trimming at this time sets the tree up for vigorous growth in early spring and can also be used to remove uneven areas of growth and help the tree maintain a more attractive shape.
Trim to avoid size issues
When left to grow in its natural state, many types of trees can grow too large and become a hazard for structures, improvements, and utility infrastructure in the area. Homeowners who need to make sure that one or more of their trees do not become a problem due to size may want to explore trimming their trees during the summer season. Trimming during this time removes a portion of the tree's ability to produce nutrients from photosynthesis and receive hydration from rainfall. When these vital elements are restricted by summer trimming, the tree grows less and remains small.
Trim as-needed for damage control
Trees that are damaged by wind, lightning, insect infestation, or other problems will need to be evaluated and trimmed as soon as possible. While homeowners may be able to safely remove broken twigs and small limbs, any additional trimming should be done by a reputable tree trimming professional who will be able to safely remove damaged areas without causing further harm to the tree or danger to people or structures in the area.
For more information about tree trimming, contact a local resource.