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Can Cutting Branches Kill Trees?

Most people understand pruning trees is of vital importance. By cutting branches it helps young trees grow.

It will also help prevent the tree from decaying, and it will give it a nice-looking structure, however, if you don’t do it properly it can damage the tree, and sometimes cause the tree to die.

Property owners should know when and how to cut branches on their trees before they start pruning. Precision is essential, but knowing what time of year to cut your trees is just as important.

A lot of folk prune trees whenever they notice it’s time for a haircut, which can have a devastating impact on the tree’s overall health. Timing is key, and using the correct tools to get the job done properly is another factor tree owners need to consider.

image - Can Cutting Branches Kill Trees?
Can Cutting Branches Kill Trees?

When Should I Prune Trees?

Tree owners should avoid pruning when it is damp outside. If you cut branches when it is damp, it can help spread disease that can damage the tree, so people should wait until the weather conditions improve. If you wait until it is dry, you won’t have to worry about mold and bacteria harming your tree.

People should avoid pruning plants and trees during the fall. Although it might seem like a good idea, and with the holiday season around the corner, homeowners often want to prepare their trees, plants, and shrubs for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but the fall is the worst time of year to cut branches.

Expert gardeners recommend that tree owners should wait until midwinter or spring to take on the task. Open cuts during this time of the year can leave your tree vulnerable, and you might not see any growth during the Spring.

Instead of encouraging growth, pruning during fall can do the opposite. It can weaken the tree, so people should wait until the dormant season instead.


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Maintain Your Tools

If you have spent your hard-earned money on the best pruning tools available, you must make sure that you have cleaned them thoroughly before you start cutting branches.

If the tools aren’t spotless after making contact with a diseased branch, you could end up spreading the disease to other trees.

Luckily, cleaning pruning tools isn’t difficult. Some gardeners apply a small amount of bleach to them and rinse them down in warm water.

The warm water will help kill the germs off the tool. Once the tools have been cleaned, dry them before you start using them.

Don’t Cut the Top of the Tree

Another common mistake tree owners make is by cutting the top of the tree. If the tree is blocking the view from your home, or perhaps your neighbors are complaining about it, it can be tempting to cut off the top of it.

However, you must keep in mind that a large section on the top of the tree is the crown, and if you were to cut it might harm the tree or cause it to die. Even if the tree doesn’t die, your tree will end up disfigured and it might be unable to support the rest of it.

If you lack confidence and you are not really sure what you are doing, it might be worthwhile hiring a professional tree surgeon to take on the task. Companies like David Tree Service Manassas provide a service that will ensure your trees remain safe.

People working for reputable tree companies will have undergone extensive training, to know how to remove branches without damaging the trees. They will have all the correct tools on hand, and they will understand how to keep your trees safe and help them look great.

Avoid Over Pruning

You might love gardening, but that doesn’t mean you should over-prune your trees. Don’t cut off or trim more than twenty percent of a tree’s branches at one time.

Most experienced gardeners aim to prune approximately ten percent of the tree’s branches. By removing too much of the canopy, the tree might struggle to produce enough nutrients so it won’t be able to support itself.

Another problem with over-pruning is that you are making your tree more vulnerable to diseases. Although pruning is essential, you will want to avoid going overboard.

Invest in Pruning Tools

Don’t assume the tools in your shed will do the job. If you don’t have pruning tools, then it might be time to purchase them. Tools like these are specifically designed for trimming and cutting branches:

  • Pruning saws
  • Loppers
  • Pruning Shears
  • Chainsaws

Most reputable DIY stores stock a wide variety of pruning tools, so you shouldn’t have any problems finding them. If you plan on cutting large branches, you might need powerful tools.

Cutting trees is dangerous, so people should wear protective clothing and understand how to operate the different tools before they start cutting branches.


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