One of the best times of the year to trim your tree branches occurs during the cold months. Trimming and pruning during the colder seasons will allow the tree to take the least injury. While tree trimming can most certainly be done in the summer and spring months we do recommend that it be done with care and caution. During the months when temperatures are high tree's sap is running most through its veins and cutting off limbs could potentially kill the tree. When possible, our team of experts suggest that homeowners wait until the fall season.
Of course, there are exceptions such as young trees that were just planted. If the tree has damaged branches or broken limbs or even dead limbs these can be trimmed at any time. And, the blooming trees can be trimmed up after they bloom but before they bare fruit, these are:
However, trimming the trees in the spring or summer can leave open wounds that will expose the tree to more insects and possible infections. It should not be done for more than 10% of the tree. Trees are very delicate and trimming them at the wrong time can be devastating to them.
Steps to Properly Trimming a Tree
1. Locate the desired branch that needs to be trimmed. Secondly, work on isolating the branch collar, or the part that attaches the limb to the tree. Be sure to take your time on this step as this is more easily found on some trees than others. Once identified prepare to make the cut, just outside of that collar. Many times the collar has a bit of rougher bark around it. Do not damage the collar, as this is how the tree will heal, from the collar.
2. Now it is time to carefully and precisely make the cut. This means that you will make your cuts on a downward angle on the tree. This will allow water to run off and not pool on the wound and rot.
3. We never recommend trimming tree branches that are growing straight up. If you trim tree branches growing straight up, it will leave a nice flat surface for water to pool and rot the tree.
4. Cut off the entire limb or branch and do not leave a long stub. Leaving long stubs on the tree can significantly delay the healing process for your tree. Cut the branch off at the skeleton of the tree. The tree's skeleton is the main branches, the trunk and any main branches to the tree. When there is no need to take the entire large limb off, rather just a smaller branch, be sure cut to the large limb.
Martin Tree Service recommends that tree trimming be done at least once a year to ensure trees are healthy and strong. It is far more common when the trees are smaller and young than as they grow. If this maintenance is done properly the trees will last for many years.