If you are fortunate enough to have trees in your garden, then it is important that you give them a little TLC now and again. Whilst trees are generally low maintenance, a little care and attention can help to keep them healthy without allowing them to take over your garden completely. Here we will take you through the basics of how, and when, to prune trees.
When to prune deciduous trees
Deciduous trees need to be pruned in autumn and winter, before spring growth starts. However, for some trees, such as magnolia and walnut, it is best to prune in the late summer as the trees heal more quickly then. If you prune trees too late in winter or early spring, they can bleed sap. This is not usually fatal, but it doesn’t look particularly nice and the loss of sap can impact the tree’s health. If you notice that branches are hazardous during summer and autumn, a healthy tree will tolerate light pruning to remove low hanging branches or weak growth areas.
If you are unsure of what tree you have in your garden, or when it is best to prune it, get in touch with your local tree specialist.
When to prune fruit trees – and why
Apple and pear trees benefit from regular pruning as unpruned fruit trees can become clogged up with old branches, which impacts the quality and quantity of fruit that they produce. It is important that this is done when the tree is dormant, in November-March.
When to prune evergreens
The beauty of evergreen trees is that they rarely need pruning. However, if you do notice overhanging or dead branches, these should ideally be removed in the late summer.
How to prune trees
Before you start any pruning work, find out if your tree is in a conservation area or if there is a tree preservation order in place. If either of these are relevant, then before you do anything you will need to get in touch with your local council.
Once you know that you can legally prune your tree, you need to decide whether you can do it safely and without causing damage to you, your (or anyone’s) property, or the tree. If you are unsure, elicit the help of a tree specialist.
Your first step is to get rid of dead, damaged or diseased shoots; once these have been cleared, look for weak or rubbing growth from last year and carefully remove it.
Removing branches and limbs
Removing overhanging or dying branches is not as simple as lopping it off. Aside from the fact that you need specialist equipment; gloves, eye and head protection and a chainsaw, arboriculture is an art. If you remove a branch incorrectly, you could impact not just the future growth, but the stability, of a tree. If in doubt, get a professional in to help you.
By taking care of your trees now you will ensure that they are fruitful and beautiful for the coming year, as well as being better able to withstand extreme weather. To find a trusted tree specialist near you, take a look at our directory. For more advice, follow Trust A Trader on Facebook or Twitter.