When your home’s or business’ landscaping includes mature trees, it is important that you consider the when, why, and how for pruning a mature tree. As you likely know, it is critical to prune trees and bushes (especially to remove dead or dying branches) to ensure their continued health and vitality as well as the overall appearance of your landscaping.
The task of tree pruning for mature trees is much different than pruning young trees. Because they are mature and well-established, pruning trees with age to them takes specific skills and training. All trees should be pruned at certain times and in specific ways, so it is important for the health of the trees that your pruning is done in accordance with the type of trees you have as well as the age of the tree.
At Pro Tree Service in Tallahassee, Florida, our well-trained tree pruning experts are here to help residents and business owners in Tallahassee and the surrounding areas care for their mature and young trees throughout the entire year. We are dedicated to providing the best possible tree care to all of our clients, and the health of your trees is our #1 priority.
To help you understand the particulars of dealing with a mature tree and its pruning needs and pruning techniques, we have assembled a guide for you concerning pruning older trees on your property.
Why Is Tree Pruning Necessary for Mature Trees?
First and foremost, it is critical to understand why pruning an older tree is necessary. The primary focus when pruning a mature or older tree is on human safety, more than anything else. Older trees tend to have much larger branches and a more complicated branch structure. When the weather becomes windy or severe, any damage to these branches or weaknesses in them can be dangerous for the homes around the trees. Foliage mass, defects in the branches, and weight of the branches can cause failure in poor weather. Motion is reduced when the branch is shortened, and this eliminates the potential for damage in the wind.
If it is necessary to remove live foliage from branches, be sure to do so in a limited capacity. The foliage helps with sugar generation and removing that foliage causes an older tree to react and expend more energy in healing.
Also, when it comes to pruning an older tree, the focus should be on tertiary and quaternary branches rather than primary ones. Pruning primary ones can leave serious wounds, reducing the ability of the tree to heal before its new growth cycle. Tree care professionals must also be careful that they do not remove interior low branches less than approximately four inches in diameter – this is not structural pruning and only creates bad wounds.
When Do You Prune Trees that Are Mature?
The question of when the best time is to do your tree pruning is hotly debated in the world of tree care, but most specialists will agree that spring is the best time to inspect your trees and identify the winter damage. Without the leaves or flowers, you can more easily see the damage. Likewise, without the activity within the tree, pruning after they have bloomed will leave you with less sap or the possibility of insect or disease invades.
The ideal time for pruning the trees on your property, though, will depend on the type of trees. For trees that bloom in the spring, they should be pruned after they bloom in the spring but never in fall or winter. This ensures plenty of new growth the following spring for trees like maple, birch, and walnut.
Those that flower in the summer can be pruned in late winter or early spring while they are dormant. Pruning at the wrong time of year can actually weaken the tree and new growth is not encouraged. Early spring is ideal for fruit trees like crab apples and cherries as well as trees such as spruce or juniper.
Finally, those trees which do not produce flowers can be pruned during their late wintertime dormancy unless you are just pruning off small twigs or dead, dying, or diseased branches. This can be done whenever necessary.
Pruning Trees for Height or Clearance
When you are pruning trees for height or clearance, it is a matter of dealing with the crown. When reducing height, you can reduce the crown. But definitely do not do anything that equates to “topping” the tree. Essentially, you are just cutting off the top of the tree. This is very bad for any and all trees and can take years for it to be restored back to full health. To help the branch heal, be sure to make your cuts outside of the branch collar.
For clearance, it is a matter of shortening or removing low branches to allow for cars or people to walk under it. Raising the crown as a pruning technique can be helpful as long as at least two-thirds of the total height has live branches.
Contact Our Tallahassee, FL, Tree Pruning Specialists
At Pro Tree Service in Tallahassee, Florida, we are dedicated to making sure that your landscaping and the trees in it are in the best possible condition. We have the knowledge, skills, and training in pruning to promote new growth in your trees, keep them looking healthy, and ensure that they are the shape and aesthetic you are looking for at your home or business.
Our tree pruning specialists strive to set the standard in Tallahassee and the surrounding areas for professional tree services. We are happy to give you a free estimate on your pruning needs, and our team can handle any size job. The pruning team at Pro Tree Service in Tallahassee, Florida, has over 20 years of experience in the tree care industry, and we are all certified tree experts. That means we know exactly the right time to prune trees (late winter, early spring) and how to do so in order to keep your trees healthy and fruitful.
Contact us today to discuss your landscaping and pruning requirements and to make an appointment with our tree care experts.