Trees can become a beautiful centrepiece of any flourishing garden. Provided you keep them healthy, they’ll provide you with vibrant colours in spring, and cool shade on hot summer days. Tree pruning not only keeps trees healthy, however, it also moulds their shape so that they fit snugly and safely into your garden. When considering hiring tree cutting services to prune your trees, keep in mind there is a time and a place for pruning. Here, we share with you the best tree cutting practices to remember for future reference.
The Benefits of Pruning Trees
Both newly planted and established trees benefit from pruning. Here are the most common reasons for pruning your trees:
- Young tree structure can be strengthened from an early age if properly trained by an expert tree surgeon. If you ensure your young trees are cut early, their growth will come to resemble that of trees in forest settings where branches are shorter and more compact. Effective early tree cutting will also mean that your trees require less corrective pruning as they mature.
- Health can also be maintained through pruning to remove dead or diseased branches, thin out a heavy canopy to let in more sunlight, remove crossing branches to avoid damage and cut away co-dominant leaders that may split in high winds.
- Safety can be assured for passersby and nearby buildings during storms and high winds.
- Growth controls both for aesthetic reasons and to ensure trees don’t grow out of control.
The Best Time of Year to Prune Your Trees
In Essex, the three most common types of tree are oak, elm and beech. If your garden contains one or all of these majestic tree types, knowing the best time of year to prune or cut each type is essential to keeping them healthy and disease free.
Here is a guide to the best tree pruning practices and timescales for oaks, elms and beeches.
Cutting Oak Trees
Timeframe: Late winter to early spring before new leaves appear.
Reason: Prune too early in the summer or autumn and the wounds won’t heal in time for winter. Prune early or midwinter and you’ll shock the tree, stunting new growth.
Exceptions: If disease or damage is present.
Annual pruning: For your oak’s first three years, once a year. Thereafter, once every five years.
Cutting Elm Trees
Timeframe: Early spring as this is the time when elms can quickly heal and develop thick tissue (callous tissue) over any pruning areas.
Reason: The callous tissue ensures protection against invading insects and Dutch elm disease. Pruning in summer can deter growth, and pruning in late summer/early autumn causes rapid regrowth. This swift regrowth response may leave your elm open to winter damage.
Exceptions: If disease or damage occurs.
Annual pruning: Every three years.
Cutting Beech Trees
Timeframe: Prune during winter or in early spring. Beech trees generally require little pruning and tend to tolerate it better than other trees.
Reason: In winter beech trees is dormant and less bleeding will occur.
Exceptions: Damaged or diseased branches.
Annual pruning: If you plan to allow your beech tree to grow into a hedge, lightly trim them each year until they reach the desired dimensions.
Tree Cutting Techniques
While it pays to be aware of time scales, it’s also handy to know exactly what type of cutting is required the next time you hire a tree pruning service. You could prune trees yourself, but that isn’t recommended as trees are delicate and one wrong cut and disease can set in, putting not only the affected tree at risk but also the others in its vicinity.
- Cleaning, to remove dead and dying branches.
- Thinning, to improve tree structure and let in more light.
- Raising increases the height of the crown to allow people to pass or see underneath the tree.
- Reduction decreases a tree’s height or spread, often due to overhead power lines.
Keep these tree pruning practices in mind as you go about your gardening throughout the year, and you’ll ensure your trees remain the cornerstone of your flourishing, and healthy garden. I hope this advice has been helpful to you when controlling your garden, contact EGC – Gardening Services.