landscaping season. You want your yard to look beautiful and live up to its potential!
throughout the upcoming spring and beyond.
1. Use the Right Tools for the Job
When it’s time to prune, any expert will tell you that the tools you use are important. It is
vital to keep all saw, chains, loppers and scissors sharpened and oiled. If you plan on pruning
a tree that’s infected with disease, disinfect the sheers afterward to avoid spreading it.
In general, hand-held pruners will take care of branches with a diameter of up to one half of
an inch. A pruning tool with long handles can take care of thicker branches, but pruning saws
may be needed for larger branches. Whichever tool you use, you have to be able to make a
clean cut to limit the damage to the tree.
2. Time it Right
Even though spring is the season you personally come out of hibernation and start spending
more time outside, that doesn’t automatically mean it’s the best time to prune. In fact, one of
the main pruning tips you’ll hear from industry professionals is that it’s better to prune in the
winter, before trees begin to flower. Why?
In the spring, the plants are working harder to grow, flower and flourish. Their energy stores
are depleted, and thus they will not recover as quickly from pruning. That being said, you can
prune to some degree anytime, but keep in mind that the longer you wait after the buds start
breaking, the less aggressive you should be. If you would have removed 15% - 20% in late
winter, you may only take 10% in late spring.
If you’re only doing a light pruning, it’s acceptable to prune in June, after most of the
flowering has taken place. And if you’re eyeing those dead branches, don’t hold back — you
can prune those any time of year.
3. Trim Trees While They’re Young
Trimming trees when they are fully grown is much more complicated than helping a tree
grow properly from the start. If you have young trees on your property, now is the time to be
conscientious about your pruning. You can influence healthy, stable growth by removing any
forked tops and make sure that all branch removal cuts form a tight V shape so the tree won’t
be off balance and pose a danger in the future.
4. Follow the ¼ Rule
Don’t ever remove more than one-quarter inch of a tree’s branches in one year. When you prune too severely, it can have detrimental effects and lead to sprouting in the root area or at
the site of the cut.
Remember, you should never try to remove large tree branches on your own. Call a certified
arborist when you have doubts about your pruning skills, and work with a specialist who will
ensure your tree gets the best care possible. Contact Rivendell Tree Experts for a free quote and
more pruning tips for your yard.