What is tree pruning?

Pruning is the most popular and one of the most important tree care techniques. Pruning can promote the safety, structure, health, and appearance of your tree. Amateur or DIY pruning can cause permanent damage to a tree, and that’s why it is important to leave pruning of your valuable trees to experienced professionals.

The Dangers of DIY Tree Pruning

Our Tree Doctor crews prune with the understanding of how a tree will respond to the cuts that wound the tree. Removing branches takes away stored nutrients the tree needs to sustain optimal growth. Removing leaves takes away potential photosynthesis. As a result, branches that remain grow more than they normally would.

Our professionally trained pruners ensure that they make their cuts in the correct location. It is easy for non-professionals to make a mistake that will permanently damage your tree.

For example, trees have branch protection zones located within themselves. These zones have chemicals that prevent decay from spreading into the trunk. Cutting too deep inside these zones can cause future health issues inside the tree. Pruning cuts made in the proper places allow for natural processes inside the tree to occur so it can defend itself by preventing decay from seeping inside the exposed wounds left from cuts.

When is the best time to prune trees?

Winter is the season when trees are not actively growing, and so that season is often a popular time of year for tree trimming. It is best to prune disease-prone trees in the winter rather than in the spring. Oak trees, for example, are susceptible to oak wilt. The beetle that spreads oak wilt is active during the growing season and not during the dormant season, so by pruning in the winter it is less likely that your oak will experience wilt. The downside of pruning during winter is that dead branches are more difficult to identify without leaves.

For tree species that flower in mid to late summer, early spring tree trimming is best in order for the tree to produce more buds on the remaining branches. For most tree species, tree trimming in the spring can yield good results, although the sap is rising in the tree during this time period, which can cause a sticky mess around the tree. Dead branches are easier to identify during the summer months because the tree is leafed out. Additionally, with leaves on trees, you can identify which branches are weakened due to the extra weight of the leaves. These branches should be removed.

Quick Tree Pruning Dos and Dont’s

Do learn about different pruning practices to avoid damaging your trees.
Do prune trees that are bushy and overgrown and trim branches that are close to your roof and house.
Do trim broken, dying, or diseased limbs that have high chances of falling on your house, powerline, or people on your property.
Do Not trim more than 25% – 30% of a tree’s foliage at once because this could damage the tree’s health.
Do not use a sealer to seal any wounds after trimming a tree as this could rot the branches.

Des Moines Professional Tree Trimming & Pruning

Don’t leave the health of your trees up to chance. As Central Iowa prepares for Spring, contact The Tree Doctor to assess your current tree growth and complete tree trimming and pruning services to keep your trees healthy. Contact us today!