Trees can grow without any help but a little care goes a long way in keeping them healthy and ensuring a long life. Tree trimming is one of the ways to get rid of falling or broken branches and shape the tree the way you desire. If you do not want to engage the services of a professional arborist, here are a few tips to help you up your tree pruning skills:

You should know that trees should be pruned when they are dormant which is early spring or late winter for most trees. If you make cuts when the tree is blooming, the wound will take much longer to heal. Some trees are early bloomers such as flowering plum, magnolia, apricot, and eastern redbud. These trees should be pruned right after blooming.

Like any other DIY project, you need to use the right tools. Without proper tools, it will not only take a lot more effort but the cuts might not be as clean as they should be. Experts recommend using loppers for thicker cuts such as thick vines, limbs of smaller trees or heavy shrubbery. Use a pole saw for heavy branches that are out of your reach and if you have to make really big cuts, there is nothing better than a chainsaw.

Safety should always be your topmost priority. Fall from even a small height has the potential to cause severe injuries. This is why you need to make sure that your ladder is on stable ground and that someone is always watching you. Position yourself to keep out of the way of falling limbs and branches. Wear proper safety equipment such as gloves, hardhat, safety glasses, hardy boots as well as long sleeves and pants.

Before you start pruning, take a good look at the limbs or branches you want to cut. As explained in the opening paragraphs, trimming not only helps in maintaining the aesthetics but also keeps a tree healthy. Take a good look and if there are any dying or infected branches, you need to cut them to protect the remaining tree.

Make sure you know where to make the cut. Stay away from the branch collar. It is that slight swelling at the base of the branch. Make a cut that is at least 1/4 inch above the bud on the outside of the branch. You can also use the collar to direct new growth. Also, the cuts should be made at an angle of around 45 degrees for perfect results.

It is important that you do not damage the bark when cutting branches. If you want to cut a thick branch, use the three cuts technique. The first two cuts are made to get rid of the weight of the branch and the final cut is made to ensure the best callus growth. A callus is a formation that takes place where the branch has been pruned. Proper formation of callus is essential to maintain the health of the tree.

If you do not have the proper tools or there are any doubts regarding your safety, call the professionals. They have the necessary tools, training and experience to get the job done right and make sure no harm is done to the tree.

Overall, timely tree pruning is essential to the healthy growth of a tree. You should use proper tools and take proper safety measures to ensure clean cuts. Don’t shy away from engaging the services of a professional if you lack proper tools or the project seems too big for you alone.

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