Maintaining your lawn and garden may sound simple. After all, how hard can it be to mow the yard and plant a few flowers? If you have trees on your property, you may be tempted to managing them on your own, but they can prove a lot more difficult to deal with than a flowerbed. And when it comes to trimming them, not everyone gets it right. Here are some of the most common mistakes homeowners make when trimming their own trees.
People and animals aren’t the only living things to get sick. Trees are also at risk for developing infections from pests, fungi, and bacteria. If you are trimming your trees, you should clean off your tools between trees. This will prevent transmitting an infection from one tree to another.
To properly sanitize your tools, all you need to do is wipe them down with rubbing alcohol after each tree. This will kill any lingering pathogens. Then, wait until the tool is completely dry before going to the next tree for easier trimming.
Also, be careful to remove any branches, twigs, and leaves from the ground under each tree. If fungi or bacteria are on them, they could head back up to the tree or another one.
Just as you want to keep your tools sanitized, they should also be in good condition when you begin trimming. Dull shears and handsaws could do a lot of damage to the tree, especially if it requires several “hacks” to cut through. If you trim your trees regularly, invest in a pair of high-quality shears and take care to clean and sharpen them regularly.
Time of Year
You may not notice that your tree needs to be trimmed until it is already big and bushy in the spring or summer, and it can be tempting to go ahead and remove branches. However, trimming your tree at the wrong time of year could encourage insects to thrive and spread disease. It could also prevent proper blossoming and fruiting if you have such a tree.
Blooming trees should be trimmed just after they’ve bloomed in springtime. All other trees should be pruned at the end of the winter. If you notice dead branches, these can be trimmed anytime.
When trimming, be selective about which branches you remove. The goal is not necessarily to shape the tree but to strengthen it and encourage it to grow and thrive. Removing too many branches will weaken the tree and could lead to leaning or falling.
Select the correct branches by removing dead limbs first. Then, trim away any branches that join larger limbs or the trunk at harsh v-shaped angles. Try to remove as little as possible to maintain the tree’s strength.
Trimming and managing your own trees can be inconvenient and even dangerous if you aren’t sure what you’re doing. So instead of tackling it DIY-style, enlist the help of professionals like those at East Coast Tree Services, where tree care and maintenance experts are ready to help you get your trees in great shape, no matter the season. For any remaining questions, give us a call today at (781) 518-8014!