The Importance of Tree Services for Maintenance and Care
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The Importance of Tree Services for Maintenance and Care

There are many reasons why people choose to plant trees on their property, which include to improve the appearance of the landscape and to provide shade. It's often necessary for homeowners to contact a tree service to trim their trees, care for diseased trees and to remove trees. We aren't affiliated with tree service professionals but we think homeowners should understand the importance of tree specialists and why their services are needed. We researched tree care and talked to professionals in the tree service industry to obtain the information we needed for this blog. As you read these articles, you'll learn when it's necessary to contact a tree service to maintain and care for your trees.


The Importance of Tree Services for Maintenance and Care

Three Tree Trimming Issues To Avoid

Lynn Lee

Proper pruning and trimming of young trees is important to their mature development. Knowing what to avoid is just as important as knowing what to do.

1. Topping

A tree may seem perfect when you first plant it, but after several years of growth and insufficient pruning, it may seem overly tall, gangly, and unkempt. It may be tempting to give the tree a crew cut by cutting off all of the top branches to a lower height in an attempt to reign in the messy growth pattern. Unfortunately, this will look worse and weaken the tree. It also may prevent the tree from growing properly in the future.

A better solution is selective crown reduction. A tree service will cut back the branches a small amount, equally, over the course of two to three years. This will help round out the canopy without creating that flat-topped look. It will also preserve the leaf buds so that the canopy remains full and attractive.

2. Stubby Tips

Stubby tips are a common mistake made by amateur tree pruners. Typically they want to remove unwanted branches, particularly those along the trunk but below the main branch canopy, to improve the appearance and health of the tree. However, they leave small stubs of the branches behind — perhaps out of fear that cutting too close to the trunk will cause injury.

When removing a branch, no matter how small and twiggy, it is important to make the cut flush to the trunk. Larger branches may have a collar, which is a raised ridge of wood right where the branch connects to the trunk. In this case, make the cut flush to the branch collar. Doing so makes it easier for the tree to seal the wound against disease and pest infestation. Stubs are both unattractive and difficult for a tree to heal.

3. False Leaders

A false leader often starts as a secondary vertical stem when the tree is young. The tree may naturally develop multiple stems or an injury may cause the main stem to split. It may seem damaging to remove a secondary large stem, but it's often more detrimental to keep the false leader as this will develop into a multiple trunk tree at maturity. Multi-trunk trees, except in the case of certain species, are more prone to splitting and breakage issues.

Instead, select the strongest stem to be the leader, or trunk, of your tree. Cut back any other vertical stems to their joint with the main trunk. You may need to remove false leaders for the first few years after planting.

Contact a tree trimming service for more help.