Tree trimming and lopping are essential steps in promoting growth and increasing yield. Trimming helps get rid of unwanted branches while lopping involves getting rid of large branches or whole tops so the tree can regrow. While both of these practices are essential, they should be performed in a proper and timely manner to avoid adverse effects. Improper pruning or lopping can weaken a tree or expose it to disease. Therefore, observe the following dos and don'ts when carrying out these tree care tasks to improve the health of your trees.
Don't Trim Trees in the Spring
After a harsh winter with nonexistent growth, most trees start to leaf out again during the spring. At this time, the trees can use as many branches and leaves as possible to make more food and support their health and growth. Therefore, trimming or lopping your trees during this period would be a bad idea. Since most trees are weak and still recovering from winter, trimming them during spring can weaken them further and promote disease. Thus, wait until summer after the trees have entirely leafed out to cut them.
Do Prune for Structure after the Leaves Fall
If you want to trim or lop your trees for structure and form, autumn is the perfect time to do so. Most trees shed their leaves at this time, and the branches are left bare with little to no greenery. This makes it easy for you to see the branches and determine how to cut the tree and enhance its structure. However, plan your project for the beginning of the season so you can leave enough time for the wound to heal before the onset of winter.
Don't Cut Too Close or Far from the Trunk
Cutting branches too close to the trunk leads to large flush cuts which can delay the healing of the wound. As a result, the tree becomes susceptible to disease and can quickly start to die. On the other hand, cutting a branch too far away from the trunk can leave a stub which acts as an entry point for bugs. When cutting, aim for the branch collar, which is the swollen area where the branch meets the trunk. The collar contains chemicals that speed up healing while keeping insects at bay.
Do Watch Out for Tree Bugs
Some trees are prone to attacks by bugs at certain times of the year. Trimming them when they're most vulnerable can weaken them further and increase their susceptibility to diseases. For example, oak trees tend to suffer beetle attacks in late spring, all the way to summer. Avoid pruning or lopping trees when they're vulnerable to bugs. Instead, wait for the bug season to pass before trimming your trees.
Keeping up with seasons and the best ways to prune and lop trees can be hard. Talk to a tree service for insight and tree lopping services.