As a professional tree service provider for almost 50 years, we’ve heard our share of questions about tree trimming. To better serve you, we’ve compiled some of our most frequently asked tree trimming questions and our responses here. 

We wrote this article as a primer to tree trimming. In it, we’ve addressed why you should prune your trees, how often, when, and how to trim safely.  

Why Is Tree Trimming Important?

The USDA identifies 3 main reasons tree trimming is important: Safety, health, and aesthetics. 

  1. The top reason tree trimming is important is safety. Tree branches hanging over structures or other property can cause irreparable damage when they fall. Not to mention the danger these branches can pose to our family and friends when they unpredictably break off and fall to the ground.  This can be mitigated by choosing the right species for your yard but scheduling regular maintenance to remove unsafe branches or branches that threaten property or electrical lines, etc. is one of the best ways to ensure that your yard is a safe one.
  1. The next reason to trim your trees is health. By removing diseased or insect-infested wood, pruning the crown to increase airflow, and trimming branches that compete with each other can all make your tree stronger and help it withstand pests and severe weather.
  1. The final reason to trim your trees is aesthetics. Enhancing the natural form and beauty of your trees can not only make your property look more beautiful, but it can actually increase your property value

How Often Should I Trim My Trees?

If your trees pose a concern to your safety, your property, or are visibly diseased or unhealthy, they may need immediate pruning. Otherwise, it is recommended to trim your trees at least once a year to maintain their long-term health and safety.

When Should I Prune My Trees?

The best time to trim your trees and shrubs depends on your tree type and your desired results. Based on your goals, your trees may have different maintenance requirements and schedules. In general, conifers can be pruned all year round, and hardwoods without showy flowers should be trimmed during their dormant season.

Pruning during winter months, when trees are dormant, is the recommended time for most trees. During the dormant winter months, it is less likely that your cuts will result in disease or pest problems, and come spring, you’ll see a vigorous burst of new growth as a result. 

Pruning in spring and summer is typically done for specific reasons, like corrective purposes, or to help encourage growth in targeted areas. Additionally, if you’d like to encourage flowering in spring, it’s important to prune flowering trees and shrubs immediately after flowering. As such, summer can be a great time to prune spring-flowering plants like azaleas, dogwoods, and camellias. 

How Do I Trim My Trees Safely?

While there are a number of steps you can take to ensure your safety when trimming your trees, it’s important to leave most tree trimming to a professional tree service company.

That said, if you decide to trim your own trees, it’s important to brush up on your knowledge of the proper pruning cuts, approaches, and practices that can harm your trees. Investing in the right equipment is also paramount to ensuring your safety. If you are still on the fence, the USDA recommends calling a professional arborist for anything over 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.

If you have any doubts about your ability to assess and prune your trees, we recommend checking out the Internation Society of Aboriculture (ISA) to find a certified arborist in your area.

Choose Gaston’s Tree Service To Trim Your Trees

We hope this information has been helpful and answered any questions you may have about trimming your trees. 

If you have trees or branches that threaten the safety of you or your property, appear unhealthy, or are simply unpleasing to look at, trust the professionals at Gaston’s Tree Service to help prune them.