There are many reasons why you should trim your trees; trimming can stabilize trees, encourage growth spurt, encourage fruit production, and help them avoid infections by getting rid of diseased branches. However, you will only realize these benefits if you get the trimming right. Otherwise, you may even end up hurting the trees and needing to have professional tree removal. For example, you need to avoid the following tree trimming mistakes:
Trimming in Any Season Other Than the Winter
The winter season is the best season to prune your trees. Here are the reasons for this:
- The trees don't have much foliage, so it is easy to identify the branches to cut.
- There are not many insects or microorganism floating around that can harm the trees.
- The trees are not actively growing, so they won't suffer much from the removal of some foliage.
- The trees don't need much growth energy, so they can channel their energy into wound healing.
Removing Too Much Foliage
Trees need their leaves to manufacture food, absorb sunlight, absorb oxygen and carbon dioxide, and to transpire. All these are processes that your tree needs in order to thrive and grow. Therefore, your pruning or trimming process shouldn't remove too much foliage because the tree will then not have adequate leaves to perform all those processes. Most tree professionals will tell you not to remove more than a quarter foliage of a tree.
Cutting off the Branch Collar
It is also dangerous to cut a branch below the collar branch. The collar branch is the visible swelling that woody plants have at the bases of their branches. In a typical branch, the collar branch is located just above the junction between the trunk and the branch. The collar branch is important for the health of the tree because it prevents the spread of decay or dangerous organisms to the main trunk. Therefore, when you cut a branch above the collar branch, you expose the tree to all manner of health attacks.
Using Wound Dressing
Tree wound dressing is a practice in which people use petroleum based-products to paint over the surfaces of fresh tree wounds, such as those created by trimming. The idea is to protect the tree from decay and microorganism attack. However, tree wound dressing doesn't help and may even harm the tree further. For example, wound dressings seals in moisture, germs, and decay, allowing them to fester undisturbed under the coat of dressing. Not only that, but they also introduce dangerous chemicals into the tree and even interfere with the natural process of transpiration.