Learn How to Trim, Prune, and Take Down Your Trees!
Fee-Figh-Foo-Fhum, here is where it gets fun.
Tree trimming/pruning/removal can actually be a lot of fun when you know how to do it. I for one, enjoy carrying around a sharp knife or pruners and bringing my trees back to health.
However, one of the main misconceptions I think people develop when they carry around a sharp weapon is that they know how to trim trees and really …. how to cut them down.
You do not. I repeat: YOU DO NOT!
It is exceedingly dangerous to you and your tree if you are your own arborist. But with a bit of knowledge for different trimming techniques, you can keep yourself safe.
This is why I’m taking you back to class, Arborist 101.
Does this look familiar to anyone out there? If it does, then the name tag on a tree probably takes you back to your plant identification classes. Good.
This class is going to be a lot less painful.
Though…..Why should you trust me?
I have taken multiple Tree Care classes and have been taught by local Arborist how to properly take care of different tree species. (Look I’m above hanging around in a Sycamore)
Facts You Should Know:
1. NEVER Prune a Tree in the Fall
The reason I’m posting about proper tree pruning now is because I’m sure with the leaves falling off, you’ll be able to notice stray limbs or branches that need to be removed. However…please do not prune until Winter or the tree has gone dormant.
*Pruning in the Fall allows fungi to spread their spores profusely and seep into the wounds that you create by pruning. It literally infects your tree in multiple points.
2. Widower’s Limb….. dun, dun, dun
A widower’s limb describes a dead branch hanging in your tree that needs to be removed. It’s named the widower because branches like these can kill you (hence making your spouse a widower)
If you see a widower’s limb, call an arborist!
3. New Cut Technique for Cutting Limbs
- Notch the side of stem, making the notch so it is facing down
- Make a clip at the crotch of the branch (where the branch meets the trunk or where the stem meets the branch)
- Then fully cut parallel to the trunk
4. Tip for Pruners
Flip your pruners around so the flat side is facing the tree. This way you will produce a cleaner cut with a smaller leftover stub.
*Some species, Maple, Walnut, and Birch, produce sap when they are pruned. That is okay, you have not done anything wrong, it’s just their defense mechanism.
5. When do you need to call an Arborist?
When you are trying to cut the tree limb, tree branch, or tree (as a whole) without having two feet on the ground. This means when you get on a ladder, climb farther into the tree and stand on a branch, or stand on anything besides the dirt beneath your feet, you need an arborist.
I’m not joking. Even small limbs can become dangerous if you don’t account for their height in the tree.
Trees are wonderful and can look fantastic with your help. Just… be more careful.
(What can I say? I love insects and insects love trees!)