Pruning FAQs

Sustainable Tree Care Answers Frequently Asked Questions About Pruning and Trimming Trees

Many of our clients have questions about pruning and trimming their trees. Getting the exact balance between trimming for both function and health can be tricky. Here are some FAQs about pruning trees to help you decide when it’s time to call the professionals at Sustainable Tree Care Services.
What time of year should I prune my trees?
Light pruning to remove weak, diseased of dead wood can be done almost any time throughout the year. However, the best time to have extensive pruning is before the spring growth season. Excessive cutting right after the growth season will waste resources and make your tree struggle to replace what it had just created.
How much should I trim from my trees?
The amount of live branches you remove depends on the objectives, size, and age of your tree. The real trick to pruning correctly is balancing the amount of live tissue (branches and leaves) throughout the canopy. This result is a well-balanced tree that can sustain itself easily. Proper pruning can extend the life of your trees significantly. Thinning trees correctly can greatly reduce wind resistance and consequently, storm damage.
Should I use a pruning spray to cover removed branch wounds?
There are mixed feelings about the effects of sealing pruning wounds in trees. Most professionals agree that it is not necessary when the cuts are carefully placed. Removing too much can compromise the trunk integrity; too little can introduce rot in the part of the branch that is left.
Is it necessary to prune my trees?
Yes! Early pruning can help a tree develop a strong main branch structure. By eliminating weak branch clusters early and balancing weight and height, you will extend the life of your trees. Pruning your trees sufficiently when they are young will decrease the amount of pruning necessary as the trees age. It also reduces the chance of major damage to trees and property.
Can I care for my own trees?
When small, ornamental trees are relatively easy to prune and maintain. Research at websites like to learn the techniques to shape healthy trees. Mature trees, however, need professional maintenance. Only hire certified arborists to prune and trim large trees. They will have the proper equipment and know the appropriate procedures to perform a safe and effective pruning for large, well-established trees.
What tools do I need to prune trees myself?
You can do some routine pruning of dead, broken, or low-hanging branches if you use the right equipment. For small, thin branches, use sharp hand pruning shears. For branches larger than one-half inch in diameter, should be made with loping shears or a pruning saw. Never, ever use hedge trimmers on tree branches.

Sustainable Tree Care can help you decide whether you should prune and trim yourself or call in professional arborists. Call us today, or to learn more about our services, visit our Tree Care Services page.

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