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Tree Trimming and Pruning

Topping trees is a major threat to the urban forest and eventually destroys beautiful and valuable resources. To understand more about topping and its detriment on trees check out our, ask an arborist section.

Trimming is one of the most important things you can have done for your trees. Having your trees trimmed by a professional preserves the natural beauty of your trees, helps prevent disease and improves the over all health and structure of your tree.

Tree pruning improves the health of your trees by removing broken, diseased or dead branches which prevents decay-producing fungi from gaining a foothold. Live branches may be removed or thinned to improve the structure of the tree and enhance air circulation in the canopy. Some branches that overhang driveways, walkways or building pose a safety hazard and will need to be pruned. At Sussex Tree our arborist are trained to spot such problems.

An overly dense tree becomes more of a “sail” in windstorms, meaning more wind force can hit the tree and increase the odds that it’ll lean or blow over in a storm. A thinned tree lets more of the wind blow through, thus lessening the sail effect.

Second, trees with too many leaves won’t dry out as fast, and that can increase the incidence of leaf diseases. Thinning lets air and light in a little better and dries the foliage faster.

Winter is a good time to thin trees because you can see the inner branch structure better. Look for branches growing inward and for areas where two or three or more branches are all growing out of the same general area. Cut these excess branches back to just outside the joint where they attach to a bigger branch or the main trunk.

The sooner you make these cuts, the better they’ll heal. To get maximum flowering out of an ornamental pear, wait until after the tree drops its blooms in spring to prune. But the down side of that is 1.) it’s harder to see the branches then, and 2.) it’s a messier proposition with all the leaves falling off during the process.

Another situation where pruning is needed is whenever you notice any cracked or injured branches (true of any tree, not just pears).

Lastly, a good reason to prune is for shaping and size control purposes. Whacking off the low-hangers (as you’ve been doing) is one example of that. But you can also maintain the desired size and good shape of your pear by selectively snipping back long branches to a branch juncture.

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