Although trees that grow naturally in forests and large parks need little to no maintenance, trees found on residential or commercial properties need routine maintenance in order to thrive in their more urban and suburban locations. Unfortunately, some trees get the wrong kind of tree maintenance, and they end up weakened and unable to grow to their full potential. In today's blog post, we look at four bad tree pruning mistakes to avoid to help ensure the trees on a commercial or residential property are at their most healthy, stable, and beautiful.
Trees need strategic pruning in order to remove dead or broken limbs and branches, and to stabilize the tree when it has become overgrown. However, some trees have too many limbs and too much foliage removed, known as over pruning. Some property owners and amateur tree crews excessively prune to avoid having to prune trees any time soon. Over pruning involves removing more than 20% of the tree limbs and branches, which causes undue stress on the tree and can make it become structurally unstable. It can also negatively impact the aesthetic beauty of the tree when it has been excessively pruned or trimmed back.
Tree topping is the harmful process of chopping off the tree's crown at the very top, resulting in far less foliage, and often an unappealing shape. Tree topping is often performed by amateur tree crews in order to prevent trees from growing too tall or coming into contact with utility lines or property structures. Tree topping does not encourage greater bloom growth, nor does it provide a long-term solution to large trees planted in small areas. Ultimately, tree topping does more harm than good, and the tree is often left weaker and more vulnerable in the process.
Incorrect Tree Cuts
Strategic, correct tree pruning isn't solely based on knowing which limbs and branches should be removed. It also involves knowing how to correctly remove a limb or branch without jeopardizing future tree health and growth. When an amateur tree crew lops off a branch or limb flush with the tree trunk, the tree collar is also removed, which is a critical part of the tree's healing process. Without a tree collar, the tree is left with an open wound, unable to create a callous to prevent attacks from tree diseases or invasive insects.
There are ideal times to prune fruit and shade trees in Texas, and the heat of the summer is not one of those times. Trees are already expending their energy resources growing and creating new leaves, and the additional stress from summer tree pruning can put the tree's health at risk. It is far better for the tree's immediate recovery and long-term health to prune in the cooler months when the tree enters its dormant season.