Why do we need to prune trees?
Trees, like shrubs should not be pruned without good reason. Reasons for pruning trees can include removal of deadwood, to remove crossed or rubbing branches which could cause the start of disease and the reduction of height and spread to reduce contact with structures.
The pruning of large trees can be a very dangerous operation and should be undertaken by a qualified and experienced tree surgeon. If the target cannot be reached from ground level, then the employment of a professional company is by far the safest choice for your own personal safety, other members of the public, your property and the health of your trees.
When do we prune trees?
Most routine tree maintenance work to remove weak, un-sound or dead limbs can be undertaken at any time during the year with little or no detriment to the tree. There are some diseases such as Oak Wilt which is spread by spores which can enter wounds after pruning, so a good tree surgeon will advise against this work when the spores are active. Likewise any heavy pruning is best avoided just after the spring flush, this is because the tree will have used a lot of energy to produce its foliage and early shoot growth, removal of this foliage could prove detrimental to the tress overall health.
The different pruning methods explained.
Crown lifting is when the tree surgeon carries out the selective removal of the lowest branches of the tree to increase the distance between the lowest branches and the ground, this can be for various reasons including traffic or pedestrian clearance, to let in more light or to create a more desirable view.
Crown reduction is a technique used by the tree surgeon to reduce the height and / or spread of the crown of a tree by the removal of the ends of branches whilst maintaining the tree's natural shape.
Crown thinning is commonly confined to broad-leaves species but can also be undertaken on certain conifer species. Crown thinning is done to allow more light through to the crown without altering the overall shape and size of the tree.
Crown cleaning is the removal of dead, dying, diseased, broken, crowded, weakly attached or low-vigour branches as well as climbing plants such as Ivy. Crown cleaning is often carried out by the tree surgeon in conjunction with crown thinning.
Pollarding is a woodland management method of encouraging lateral branches by cutting off a tree stem or minor branches two or three metres above ground level.