Pruning is a crucial part of tree care, but it’s also one of the most commonly misunderstood aspects of tree care. Unfortunately, poor pruning can do more harm than good.
Here are eleven of the most common bad tree pruning habits that you should avoid:
1. Not Pruning At The Right Time Of Year
Pruning at the wrong time of year can damage your trees and make them more susceptible to pests and diseases. The best time to prune most trees is during the dormant season, from late fall to early spring. However, there are a few exceptions, such as maples and birch trees, which should be pruned in the summer, also as when you’re dealing with storm damage
2. Pruning Too Much At Once
If you prune more than 25% of a tree’s branches in one go, it can be extremely stressful for the tree and may even kill it. So take it slow and only remove a few branches each year.
3. Cutting Branches Too Close To The Trunk
This is a common mistake that people make when pruning. They think they need to cut the branch right up against the trunk, but this can damage the tree’s bark and leave it susceptible to disease. The correct way to prune is to make a clean cut just outside of the branch collar (the swollen area where the branch meets the trunk).
When you cut a branch, always leave a small “stub” (the section of the branch that’s still attached to the trunk). This stub will help protect the tree’s trunk from damage and decay. If you cut the branch too close to the trunk, you could end up causing serious damage to the tree.
4. Not Using The Proper Tools
Using the wrong tools can damage your trees and make them more susceptible to disease. Make sure you are using sharp, clean pruning shears or saws. There are a variety of different tools that you can use for pruning, but not all of them are created equal. Make sure you’re using the right tool for the job, or you could end up causing damage to your tree.
5. Making Jagged Cuts
When you make jagged cuts, it leaves the tree vulnerable to disease and pests. Always make clean, straight cuts.
6. Not Disinfecting Your Tools
If you don’t disinfect your pruning tools between each tree, you could be spreading diseases from one tree to another. Dip your tools in a solution of bleach and water (1 part bleach to 9 parts water) between each tree.
7. Leaving Stubs
When you leave stubs, it prevents the tree from healing properly and makes it more susceptible to disease. Always make sure to cut the branch cleanly outside of the branch collar.
8. Topping Trees
Topping is when you cut off the top of the tree, resulting in a flat-topped look. This is extremely damaging to trees and should never be done.
9. Not Disposing Of Branches Properly
After you’ve cut branches, it’s important to dispose of them properly. Don’t just leave them lying around on the ground, as this could lead to disease or decay. Instead, dispose of them in a way that won’t harm the environment, such as by mulching them.
10. Not Using Proper Safety Equipment
When you’re pruning, it’s important to use the proper safety equipment. This includes gloves, goggles, and a face mask (if you’re dealing with dust or chemicals). Failure to use proper safety equipment could lead to injury.
11. Doing It Yourself If You’re Not Experienced
Pruning is a delicate process, and it’s not something that you should attempt if you’re not experienced. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could end up harming your tree. If you’re not sure how to prune properly, it’s best to hire a professional tree service.
Pruning is an important part of tree care, but it’s also one of the most commonly misunderstood aspects of tree care. Unfortunately, poor pruning can do more harm than good. By avoiding these eleven bad tree pruning habits, you can help keep your trees healthy and looking their best.
If you want some pruning, check out tree pruning Melbourne.