How to Prune Large Trees and Keep your Yard Safe

How to Prune Large Trees and Keep your Yard Safe
27 May 2019

When you have trees in your yard, you naturally want to keep them big and healthy. Sadly, as the trees grow, some of their branches can become weaker, which can result in accidents – broken branches everywhere. Pruning is a simple way to help large trees stay healthy and strong for years to come. Not only will it help ‘young’ branches to grow strong, but it will also keep your property safe. However, this is easier said than done, and it has to be done correctly, relying on knowledge and experience, in order to protect the tree.

Why do we do it?

Before we head out to prune trees in our yard and home garden, it is important to know exactly why we do it. The main reason is to try to shape the tree and give it a new look, but there is much more. If our tree is close to the road or the sidewalk, we want to provide a safe passage for cars and pedestrians who go under it every day. In addition to that, we also want to cut off any old or damaged branches if we notice that our tree has a defect of some sorts. Another thing we need to know before we begin is whether our tree has already been pruned and if yes – when. Pruning in winter will cause the “explosion” of new branches in spring, while pruning during late summer will slow down the growth of a certain branch, which is good to know if you want to control the development of the tree that’s close to the street.

Mind the high branches

We usually prune the branches that we see clearly, but if our trees are tall and old, it might be difficult to spot a problem with higher branches. What is more, as we prune the lower branches and the ones on the sides, the tree will keep sending more water and minerals to the higher branches. Don’t forget that these branches are also directly exposed to sunlight and wind, which makes them healthier and stronger. These branches are hard to keep an eye out for and nearly impossible to control unless you have the right equipment. Choosing trailer lifts hire is the solution because with a mobile tower you will have a better view and you won’t have to climb the tree in order to do the pruning. That way, you will also stay safe and not risk falling down and hurting yourself.

Protecting the skeleton

When you try to shape the tree, you should do so carefully if you don’t want to hurt its main branches. It is through these branches that the tree ‘sends’ water and minerals to the more remote peripheral branches. However, even if a branch has been damaged in a storm or because of a parasite, the tree will keep sending food and mineral there. As noble as this is, it is also in vain, so you should always try to prune the branch which shows any signs of damage even if it’s still ‘alive’. If it’s one of the main branches that’s damaged, try not to prune the entire branch, but rather cut just outside the collar. Otherwise, the tree will keep sending nutrients to the other half, and it will take much longer to heal. A broken branch could be saved if the tree manages to recover until spring. Keeping your yard beautiful and safe will do you good in the future too.

Getting plenty of light and air

When the tree is well pruned, every single branch will get enough light and air. This means that you should make sure to thin out branches which you think are too thick or which block out the light for other branches, thus preventing the tree from developing equally. This is why you should avoid planting a tree in the corner of your property, as you won’t be able to reach the branches that are too close to the fence. If they don’t get enough light and air, they will become dry and break easily.

Pruning young trees isn’t at all difficult because you can easily reach all branches and you see clearly if there are any problem areas. With large trees, the situation is a bit different, as you need special equipment and a bit different approach. Still, if you take your time and prune your old and tall trees carefully, you will ensure they stay healthy for many years and you’ll keep your yard safe and beautiful.

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Ron Wolf

Ron is a soon to be a civil engineer. Until that happens, he tries to write as much as he can use his knowledge from school and five years experience from working in his dad's construction company as a teen. Ron loves playing pool and hanging out with his friends as much as he can.

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