How Often Should Trees Be Trimmed?
Trees, if left to their own devices, can grow to a huge size. While some will only get so big before they won’t grow any further, plenty of trees will keep growing if they’re left unchecked. Therefore, trimming them becomes necessary, to prevent them from getting too large. Overgrown trees can cause multiple issues, so it’s important to stay on top of them and ensure they don’t get too big. But before you can start trimming your trees, you need to know how often you need to trim them. The length of time to leave between trimmings can vary, but there are certain things to consider that will help you to plan a schedule.
This guide will take you through some of the key facts so that you can understand when and how to trim your trees to keep them safe, healthy, and looking good.
Why Is It Important to Trim Trees?
You might need to trim trees for several different reasons. Firstly, if a tree isn’t trimmed, you could find that it becomes dangerous. Branches that are no longer healthy or that are unstable could fall, causing damage to anything below it and perhaps even injuring people too. When you trim away excess branches, you can make sure your trees aren’t encroaching on your home or getting too close to structures that could sustain damage.
Trimming and pruning trees is also the best thing to do for the health of a tree. When you trim a young tree, it helps it to mature with a more sturdy and strong structure. It reduces the weight of dense canopy, which puts less pressure on the tree, and it helps to shape it into its beautiful, natural shape. Fewer competing branches on your tree mean that it and other trees and plants around it can get more food and water and airflow through the trees is improved too.
More sunlight can also come through when you trim away excess branches, benefiting not just your trees but also your home. If you have fruit trees, regular trimming can produce more and larger fruit for you. Overall, regular tree trimming also increases the lifespan of trees.
Do You Need to Trim All Trees?
In theory, you can certainly leave trees to grow without trimming them. After all, trees in the natural landscape grow quite happily without anyone there to prune them. However, if you have trees growing on your property, trimming them is often the sensible choice. It has a range of benefits both for you and for the health of the trees, so it makes sense to carry out regular tree trimming. Some trees can go for longer than others without being trimmed, so knowing when to trim certain trees is important.
How Often Do You Need to Trim Your Trees?
Trimming your trees on the right schedule is important. If you trim them too often, you might not give them a chance to grow. If you don’t trim them often enough, it could affect their health and lead to them growing out of control. Exactly how often you need to trim a tree can depend on several factors, although you can follow a general rule of thumb if you’re not sure whether you might need to trim it.
Generally, you need to prune younger trees slightly more frequently, about every 2 to 3 years. Mature trees require trimming a little less often, around every 3 to 5 years, depending on a few different things. If you don’t know how old a tree is, getting a professional opinion will inform you about how often you should be trimming it.
Factors to Take Into Account
You need to take several factors into account when deciding how often to trim a particular tree. You need to look at a tree as a whole to understand when you need to trim it.
Some of the things to consider when working out if you need to trim a tree and how often to do it include:
- The age of the tree
- The size of the tree
- The species of tree
- The health of the tree
You might need to trim some trees more or less often than average, depending on their health and other factors. For example, you often need to trim fruit trees annually if you want them to produce fruit every spring. On the other hand, evergreens can go several years without being trimmed, as long as they are healthy.
When Should You Prune a Tree?
When you should trim a tree is another essential thing to know. While you can technically trim a tree at any time, there are some times when it’s better to do it. The dormant season, after a tree has lost its leaves, is often the best time to trim. However, you need to trim some trees at more specific times. For example, you should never trim oak trees in summer because they are vulnerable to a disease called oak wilt. This means that you should trim oak trees between November and March to prevent them from being infected.
Working Out How Often to Trim a Particular Tree
You might have a general idea of what schedule to use for tree trimming, but how do you work out how to trim a particular tree? As listed above, there are a few things to take into account when making this decision. But if you don’t know a lot about trees, you might not have any of the information that you need. You might not know how old the tree is, how healthy it is or even what species it is. If this is the case, you need professional help to ensure you understand the needs of your tree.
A professional arborist or tree care service can take care of this for you. By assessing your tree, they will be able to tell you what species it is and the best way to take care of it. They can take a look at the health of your tree and determine if they might need to remove any branches to improve the tree’s health and make it safer too. When you use a tree trimming service, they can create the right schedule for your tree trimming too, so you don’t have to guess when the next trim is due.
Of course, you could always do your own research too. There is plenty of information about how to identify different trees online or even in various books if you prefer if you don’t know what type of tree you’re dealing with. However, it’s also important to be able to assess a tree in person, which is something that you might find difficult if you don’t have much experience. It can be much quicker, safer, and more sensible to have a professional help you, especially as they can also trim your tree for you.
How Can You Trim Trees Safely?
Safety is of the utmost importance when you need to trim a tree. Many people think that it’s a job that they can do themselves, but it can be very dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing, especially when you’re dealing with large trees.
There are several ways that you can trim or prune trees, including giving a trim all over in spring or summer, pruning when dormant, pollarding (removing the head or crown), crown lifting, and crown thinning. Which method of pruning is most appropriate will depend on the tree and the desired results.
It can be easier to remove small branches if you want to do it yourself. If the branch is no larger than the diameter of your wrist and is easily accessible (preferably without a lot of ladder work), removing it yourself can be possible. However, using a professional is best for larger branches and for certain types of trimming, such as crown lifting and trimming. If you do decide to trim a tree yourself, make sure you’re using appropriate tools and proper protection.
In addition to making sure you’re trimming trees safely, make sure you know how to trim them for their health and looks. If you don’t get it right, your trees could end up looking lopsided or grow into an unsightly shape. If you remove too much material, the tree could grow a lot to make up for it, resulting in an overgrown tree. This is something that can happen when apple trees are trimmed too much.
The best way to make sure you get your tree pruning right is to use a professional service. You can guarantee that you receive advice from a knowledgeable arborist who can identify trees correctly and provide tips on how and when to trim them. Local Tree Estimates offers tree trimming services that will help to keep your trees in line and ensure they’re growing healthily. Whether you need to trim a tree annually or only every few years, our professional team will take care of your requirements.