We are often asked when it’s best to examine trees and look for signs of health trouble, and when to prune and thin branches so the tree can breathe and get optimal sunlight. It’s a great question.
Outdoor Craftsmen landscape designers recommend hiring professionals to get your trees in top shape (they are after all an investment in your home – totaling 10% of your home’s overall value). Optimal time of year is from early February to about the end of March/early April. If you are game to try pruning yourself, here are tips from Colorado State University Forestry Service on pruning trees:
- Know what you want to accomplish before you saw. Don’t remove any branches without a reason.
- Remove any torn, dead or broken branches.
- Try to develop or maintain one dominant vertical top stem, or leader, and don’t cut off the tops of trees.
- Space the main branches along the trunk and prevent branches below the permanent canopy from growing upright or too large.
- Always prune just outside the branch collar – the point where one branch leaves a larger one (or the trunk), often discerned by raised or wrinkled bark.
- Limit pruning of newly planted trees to the removal of dead, damaged or crossing limbs, or those interfering with the main stem.
- Avoid removing more than 25 percent of a tree’s branches in any one year.
If a job requires running a chainsaw overhead or removing large branches or entire trees, we strongly suggest hiring an insured, certified arborist or landscape company. Call Outdoor Craftsmen for recommendations on great tree people. 303-828- 0408