Pruning 101: How to Keep Your Trees Healthy and Safe

The trees on your property are doing more than providing shade and beauty; they’re also boosting your property value and an important part of the curb-appeal equation. Because your trees are valuable, it’s important to foster healthy growth to protect your investment and keep your property safe. Pruning is a vital part of tree care, but it’s equally vital to know when and how to carry out the task to avoid doing permanent damage.

When and How to Prune Trees Safely

The best time to prune your trees will depend on the type; some can be pruned without issue any time of the year, and others must be pruned only during their dormant periods. As a general rule of thumb, it’s always wise to avoid pruning during the summer, which is when trees are most susceptible to pests, diseases and stress. Removing live branches is essentially removing food stores from the tree, which can also affect root growth during drought conditions. There are some exceptions to this rule, particularly the removal of dead or diseased branches. They should be removed as soon as possible, no matter what time of year or point in the growing cycle.

How you prune and what tools you use are almost as important as the time you choose to prune your trees. Sharp pruning shears or saw blades are essential, as dull trees maximize damage and stress to your tree. Cuts should be clean and just outside the branch collar, the swollen areas where branches meet the trunk of the tree, to minimize pest and disease risks. Overzealous pruning, even with the best tools at the ideal time, will also put undue stress on your trees. There’s a delicate balance to strike, pruning enough to benefit the tree without inadvertently going overboard.

Why Pruning Matters

Some trees don’t require pruning and are perfectly fine left to their own devices for years on end. Others need regular pruning to remove dead, damaged or diseased branches, or precarious ones with the potential to fall on people or property. Pruning can increase the lifespan of your tree when it’s done to remove diseased limbs and can also just improve the appearance of misshapen trees with crossed or rubbing branches.

Pruning is a precise job and getting it wrong can have far-reaching implications for all the trees on your property. Many homeowners are not comfortable pruning trees themselves, and for good reason. Inexperience can make pruning hazardous to the tree itself, surrounding property or any people in the vicinity. Trained, experienced arborists can help ensure your trees are safely and effectively pruned for healthy growth. With access to the right tools for the job, the expertise needed to get it done properly and the knowledge needed to time pruning just right for the overall health of your tree, professional arborists are the best choice for tree care and maintenance.

Front Range Arborists, Inc. has been providing expert-level tree care to residential, commercial and municipal institutions in and around Colorado Springs since 1994. If the trees on your property need knowledgeable attention, call or contact Front Range Arborists to learn more about the best course of action today.