You may think of tree trimming as an aesthetic task -- one you do to keep your tree looking pristine and shapely. But in fact, there are many reasons to trim your trees. If you notice any of these signs, then it is definitely time to either take out the pruning shears or call your local tree trimming service.
Heavy, Breaking Branches
Sometimes the larger branches may simply grow too heavy to support themselves. When this occurs, they may droop or even begin to crack near the place where they attach to the tree trunk. Heavy, drooping branches are at risk of blowing off in a high wind, and this could cause damage to fences, roofs, and other structures. So, it's best to either have the entire heavy branch removed or to remove some of the smaller branches it supports to ease its burden.
Leaves With Spots and Sores
Are some of your tree's leaves beginning to develop spots or black dots? These spots are typically indicative of a fungal infection such as leaf spot disease or anthracnose. To treat the disease, it is best to have the most heavily infected branches trimmed away. Then, the tree can focus its resources on healing the remaining branches. Depending on the severity of the infection, you may also want to spray your tree with fungicides to help it fight off the disease.
Crossing, Rubbing Branches
If you notice that two of the tree's large branches are crossing over one another, then it is time for a trim. Crossing branches tend to rub against one another whenever there's some wind. They may eventually crack as a result of this action. Plus, the friction wears away some of the bark on the branches, which weakens the tree and also leaves that branch prone to infection and insect invasion.
If all of the other branches have developed leaves and there are a few branches that are still bare, these branches are dead. They won't come back to life no matter what you do, so the best choice is to remove them before they fall or blow off themselves, causing structural damage. Dead branches can also attract invasive insects and fungi, so remove them sooner rather than later to preserve your tree's health.
Usually, trimming a tree once a year in the spring is ideal, but if you spot any of the signs above, a mid-year trim may also be called for.