Tree Trimming - What to know
Keeping your trees regularly pruned or trimmed is crucial for both their health and the safety of the tree and your family. In fact, according to the USDA, tree trimming must first address safety, followed by health, and finally aesthetics. Here are the three main benefits of tree trimming:
Safety: Removing branches that may fall and cause damage to property or people is the primary reason for tree trimming.
Tree Health: Cutting off dead or diseased branches helps improve the overall health of the tree. Moreover, pruning encourages trees to develop stronger core structures, enabling them to withstand harsh weather conditions.
Aesthetics: Trimming a tree can enhance its appearance and increase flower or fruit production.
The Arbor Day Foundation suggests trimming once a year during the dormant season. However, according to the University of Minnesota Extension, there are circumstances when prompt trimming is necessary, such as :
- The tree’s growth obstructs visibility for pedestrians or vehicles, especially at intersections.
- The tree’s limbs interfere with power lines. Make sure to contact your local utility company to handle the job, as it’s simply too dangerous to even get close to power lines.
- The tree’s growth may threaten your home or property. If you feel a tree needs to be pruned because it may cause damage to your home, or causes safety concerns, it’s important to contact an arborist to help with the trimming.
How do you safely trim a tree ?
Maintaining personal safety is the top priority when tackling tree-cutting, according to Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines. The safest way to manage your yard’s trees is to engage a professional licensed tree trimming or pruning service. Trimming trees can require intervention at heights or close to power lines, making it a hazardous task for non-experts.
However, if you do decide to trim your own trees the USDA provides the following size guide to help you determine if it’s safe or not to cut the branches:
- Branches smaller than 2 inches (or 5 centimeters) in diameter: Proceed.
- Branches between 2 and 4 inches (or 5 and 10 centimeters) in diameter: Think it over.
- Branches larger than 4 inches (or 10 centimeters): Contact a professional tree service company.
Average cost of tree trimming
Be wary of individuals who propose topping a tree to reduce its height. Topping can lead to greater problems than are posed by a “too-tall tree.” Indiscriminate topping of a tree removes too much of the leaf-bearing crown. Because leaves produce food for the tree, this loss can lead to starvation, with the tree becoming vulnerable to disease and insect infestation. Limbs die and break off. The tree is more prone to decay and will probably have to be removed in the near future. If the tree is healthy and its location doesn’t pose a threat to people or property, talk with a professional arborist before deciding on any action.
The average cost of having a tree trimmed is $460. Generally, the price will range between $75 and $1,500. Topping a tree (a controversial practice, we should point out) up to 30 feet in height will cost $100-$300. For a tree 30-60 feet, plan to spend $175-$400, and $200-$1,800 to trim a tree over 60 feet.
If you are going to do it yourself -
First off, before beginning to prune any tree or shrub, sterilize your saw and clippers, as you don’t want to transfer any disease to a healthy tree. Make sure you know what you’re doing, and check with an arborist if you need information. An arborist is interested in what’s best for the tree and how to manage problems with trees without unnecessarily extreme measures.
Occasionally, you might want to trim lower branches off of an evergreen to make the space beneath it accessible. If you want to trim lower branches off a pine tree, it should be done in early spring, just before new growth starts or as it’s just starting; you can also trim a pine tree in mid-summer, as they’re semi-dormant at that time. When trimming branches, be sure not to trim all the way to the trunk; leave half an inch to an inch of the branch on the tree. A cut-up against the trunk may not heal — and pine trees can die quickly if the trunk bark is compromised.
Consider your options for tree trimming
Todd Pates Tree Service, staff and crew are professionals equipped with the expertise and experience to handle large jobs ranging from an emergency tree removal to a tree trimming project.
We use the latest equipment and techniques to ensure that your property is left looking better than when we arrived. You do have options when cutting down a tree. Because of the danger to yourself and to your home compare to our affordable rates – before you lose a finger give us a call for a free estimate.