The most important activity of tree maintenance is pruning which influences tree health and structure. Well-pruned trees are not only conducive to maintaining tree health but helps provide a safe and healthy environment by adding to the aesthetic value of the localities concerned. The act of pruning helps trees to grow straight with a healthy branch structure minimizing the risk of injury mostly caused by dead, hanging and detached twigs and branches.
I apt to pen down some tips about the time and seasons that is best for pruning. In this respect, it is advisable to:
- Prune shrubs and non-blooming trees in late winter when fully dormant. For summer-blooming shrubs and trees, the best time is late winter. Spring blooming shrubs and trees are pruned soon after blooming. Though it is exceptional to the rule of pruning, but they should be pruned as early as possible.
- The first pruning cut should be one to two feet away from the trunk. This cut is done under the branch of the tree being pruned. The next pruning cut is the top one slightly away from the first cut which allows the limb to drop smoothly on the ground and this way, tearing the bark off the tree could be avoided.
- Pruning helps the new branches grow and fruit trees benefit from pruning. Trees stay health dead limbs are removed. Deadwood makes the tree susceptible to diseases and insect infested.
- Trees just leafed out in spring could get weaken by early pruning.
- The best time for pruning trees for structure and form is when the leaves fall and the branches stand naked to be seen clearly.
- Remove dead wood in summer when the leafless branches are easily spotted. If heavy pruning is needed, it should be carried out before new growth in early spring to hide the pruning cuts.
- Lower the height of a plant up to 20% then cut back a lower branch crotch. Cuts should be made into live wood only. Pruning is strictly not advised when it is damp or wet.
- It should be ensured that a cut is made between the sick branches and the body of the tree.
- If complete branches are required to be taken off, it is advised to get close to the main stem and strike at the same angle as the branch collar. Trees should be kept clean to prevent diseases.