Tree pruning is much more important than most people realize. Skillful pruning will improve the aesthetic appeal of your trees, but is also necessary for maintaining their health and structural integrity. It has been proven that trees that are properly pruned live longer. Pruning is important because it spaces out the tree’s branches, allowing more air to circulate and helping to prevent the wind from tearing branches off. This allows the tree to continue growing in a healthy manner.
Light pruning and the removal of dead wood can be done at any time. However, for bigger pruning jobs, it is important that the work is timed for when it will do the least amount of harm to the tree’s health. For certain trees, the best period is late fall, winter or very early spring, before the tree starts to leaf out. Certain other trees should only be pruned in the summer when leaves are fully developed. A certified arborist will be able to tell you the proper times to prune your trees.
Many small pruning jobs can be accomplished on your own. The only tricky part is making sure that you are cutting in the right place. The key is to remove the unwanted branch while protecting the stem or trunk. Branches and stems are joined by a ring of tissue called a stem collar, and all cuts should be made on the branch side of the stem collar. For larger branches, it is important to be extremely careful when pruning, as the weight of the falling branch can often cause tearing or other damage to the tree. If you are uncertain that you can prune the tree safely, it is best to contact a trained professional.