Although trees grow quite well on their own, pruning helps trees to look better, remain healthy and live a longer life. Tree pruning includes removing dead and diseased branches and allows the canopy to open up, letting light and air filter through. This increases the foliage and decreases the risk of disease. The crown of the tree must be healthy in order for it to produce leaves for photosynthesis, and if the crown is not healthy, the rest of the tree will weaken over time. The following are four popular pruning methods.
- Raising. The live crown on deciduous trees should make up 60 percent of the tree and 50 percent on a conifer. Crown raising should be done over a long period of time and includes removing only a few lower limbs that are less than four inches in diameter each year. This method involves lifting the bottom edge of tree limbs up to make way for traffic, buildings or a view.
- Thinning. This method allows for thinning the crown to remove specific live branches to decrease the overall density of a tree, increasing sunlight penetration and air circulation. Thinning reduces stress on limbs and is the most common pruning method performed on mature trees. The goal when thinning the crown of a tree is to be consistent throughout the tree and remove 10-20 percent of the branches from the edge of the canopy. When a tree has been pruned using this method, it should still look like it has never been pruned.
- Crown Reduction. The goal of crown reduction is to remove old growth and encourage new growth and is often done on older, more mature trees. This method of pruning removes a tree branch back to a growing lateral branch which becomes part of the new tree crown in the spring.
- Cleaning. Crown cleaning is the process of removing dead, diseased and broken branches when trimming a tree. This method can be done at any time of year and strengthens the overall tree by preventing future damage.
If you feel that your trees could benefit from pruning and are interested in making an appointment, please give us a call at Hudson Tree Services today!