Tree Trimming Tips

For a Merry, Bright Spring

While some people may be busy trimming trees with lights and ornaments, this is also the best time of year to trim your outdoor plants. Follow these tree trimming tips to make the spring merry and bright as well.

Tree Trimming Tips

Winter is a great time to prune some plants. It may take a few hours now, but you’ll be blessed with a season full of beautiful blooms later.

There are some basic rules to follow for trimming trees properly. If it’s not done correctly, you could cut off a new bud or weaken the plant. Make sure you have the right tools for the job and that they’re clean and sharp. Then get to work!

  1. Remove the bad. The first step in any plant pruning project at any time of year is to remove the dead, diseased, and damaged branches first. These are easier to see now that the leaves are out of the way. Removing the bad makes way for light and air to flow, encouraging healthy growth.
  2. The right tool. The shears you use need to be tough enough to break through the thickness of the branch you’re trying to cut. Shears with long handles are ideal for higher branches. Shorter shears make it easy to reach closer branches.
  3. The right cut. Make any cut on the branch side of the stem collar. The closer you are to the base of the branch, the better.
  4. Pruning thick branches. Clean cuts may take more than one try. You don’t want to tear the bark and risk weakening the branch. Make a wedge cut under the branch, then cut about six inches above this mark to take off extra weight. Your final cut should be parallel to the stem collar.
  5. Don’t wait. The plant shouldn’t be overgrown by the time you get to pruning. Regular maintenance helps make the job quick and easy, instead of tackling a jungle of branches and growth.

When to Prune

While winter is an ideal time to prune most plants, some should still wait until spring. Here are some general rules for each season.

  • Spring. Prune flowering shrubs, hedges, and perennials right after they bloom.
    Summer. Prune any faded flowers and fruit trees, but no new growth. Remove any water sprouts or suckers at the base of the tree.
  • Fall. Remove branches that interfere with other plants, landscape, or your home. Prune any plant that flowered in the summer
  • Winter. Prune deciduous plants, fruit trees, and anything that could become a hazard in a winter storm.

Professional Pruning

If you’re still unsure of when or how to properly prune your plants, there’s no shame in consulting with a professional. Not only do they know the best time to prune per plant, but they can give you tips on the right tool to use and exactly where you want to make your first cut. Contact Elite Tree Care today for a consultation about your tree trimming needs.

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