Winter is also beneficial because all the leaves from deciduous trees have dropped and you can inspect the tree easily to ascertain which branches need removing.
Pruning trees on an annual basis promote growth as the tree needs less energy to maintain its foliage and use all its leftover energy to flower, fruit and or shoot out new leaves and branches.
If the tree is using up its precious energy to maintain a large number of branches, it has less energy to bare flowers and fruit. It's this concept that vineyards use to maximize their harvest.
What to remove
When pruning a tree there are 3 things we look for.
No. 1 - Crossing branches: If you see branches cutting across each other this can leads to mechanical damage from the two branches rubbing in the wind. This will not only weaken the structure of the branch, but also leave it open to invasion by insects such as borer or white ants.
No. 2 - Deadwood: Removing dead branches only makes the tree look healthier, but it will actually be far better off. It gives the tree a chance to heal once the connection between the healthy branch and deadwood has been severed. If left untreated, water is able to enter the branch and begin to rot it from the inside out. (See cutting techniques below for description on how to execute these cuts)
No. 3 - Diseased Branches: Sick trees and branches are not very obvious to the untrained eye. The best things to look for are;
- Unusual amount of deadwood on a particular branch
- Fungus growing on the branch (normally found around internally rotting timber)
- Over flowering or shooting out an unusual amount of 'sucker' from the truck or branch.
When lopping tree branches be sure to make your cut at an angle that mirrors the branches natural collar.
You should always cut larger branches into two pieces. First cut off the heavy end weight, then support the remainder of the branch with one hand whilst making the collar cut.
NEVER "pollard" - pollarding is to pruning a tree branch nowhere near the intersection of another branch or the trunk. Doing this doesn't allow the tree to heal and will leave a dead stub, allowing water to enter and rot the tree.
When to Use a Pro
Professional tree removal experts known as ' Arborists' are to be consulted if trees are at an unsafe height. For your to safely, anything over 5 metres should be done by a professional.
Ben McInerney is a certified Arborist and has been active in the industry for 15 years. He now runs a website http://www.gotreequotes.com.au that aims to help home owners get the best deal on tree removal and pruning in their local city.
Article provided by Ben McInerney