Trees are phenomenal objects of nature that not only provide oxygen to their environment but also, if taken care of properly, add value in multiple ways to the landscape they reside on. They provide homes to animals as well as enhance the look of the property. However, proper care of a tree is crucial to making sure the tree enhances the environment rather than deters from the look and feel a homeowner or business owner may be going for. Part of the proper care of a tree involves pruning the tree.
It’s important to note that pruning a tree isn’t simply just for looks. While it may make the tree and landscape look much better in the end, there are multiple other reasons and benefits that come with pruning a tree.
Reasons to Prune
• Remove tree branches that are too close to a house or have the potential to damage a house should a heavy storm hit.
• Enhance the scenic view that may be impeded by overgrowth.
• Remove broken and/or dead tree limbs.
• Remove excess low hanging branches from walkways/sidewalks/driveways.
Benefits of Pruning
• Depending on the location of the tree and its branches, pruning a tree can improve traffic or pedestrian flow around or under the tree. Run away branches can make biking or walking on the sidewalk difficult, and pruning makes sure nothing deters from someone’s outing.
• Pruning not only helps with walkways, but it also helps with traffic sign views. Often times tree limbs can grow in front of a street sign making it difficult for drivers to read, which in turn has the potential to cause a disruption in the flow of traffic on the road.
• Pruning can also decrease any safety risks put forth by damaged, diseased or broken limbs. Weak limbs pose hazards to anyone passing by and this could be a potential financial risk to homeowners and businesses alike. This also helps with the health of the tree as a whole.
• Pruning can also reduce the amount of leaf disease on a tree by increasing the flow of air through the canopy of the tree.
• Excess amount of shade can impede the growth of grass or shrubs around the tree. Pruning can ensure these other plants, as well as the lower branches on larger trees, will get the rain and light they need to be just as healthy as the tree.
When you come to the decision to prune a tree, please remember that not all trees are the same and not all pruning methods work for all trees. In fact, there are several wrong techniques that can actually damage the tree instead of help it. If you have never pruned a tree, your best decision is going to be to hire an arborist who can point you in the right direction or someone who does this professionally. When hiring someone, have a list of questions ready so you can be on the same page.
Potential Questions to Ask an Arborist/Tree Service
• What heavy equipment will need to be driven across the lawn to access trees?
• Does the arborist/tree service have adequate liability insurance coverage and workmans’ compensation insurance if the unexpected happens?
• When large branches are being cut/removed, will the tree service remove the wood that is too large to grind up in the chipper?
• Does the tree pruning cost include disposal of the tree branches?
• Is the arborist or tree service going to remove a few low branches, or will they be removing a percentage of the extra interior tree branches?
Pruning is healthy and necessary for a healthy growing tree, but it’s important to make sure it is done right and that it fits your budget.