Trimming a Large Tree: FAQ

October 12th, 2022 0 Comments

hornbeam tree to illustrate how to trim a large treeAlthough trees grow quite well naturally, routine landscaping and maintenance allow your trees to reach their full potential. We’re going to talk here about how to trim a large tree, because trees, both large and small, require proper tree trimming and pruning to stay beautiful and healthy.

We get questions about trimming large trees every day. So here are some of the most frequent “asks.” Do call us now if you’d some help, so we can put our experienced eye on your project.

Otherwise, read on to discover all the facts so you can make a decision.

Q: What’s the Difference Between Tree Trimming and Pruning?

Many people use these terms interchangeably and mistakenly consider these procedures to be the same!

Although tree trimming and tree pruning are both essential to a tree’s overall health, there are subtle differences between the two. These include why, how, when, and with what tools each is performed. In short, trimming is done primarily for the sake of appearance, while pruning is done for the sake of health.

That’s not the whole story, of course and you can read more on pruning here. But we’ll stay with trimming now.

Q: Why is it Important to Trim Large Trees?

Many homeowners neglect to trim large trees, thinking they’re saving time, effort, and money.

The reality, though, is that regular trimming is an investment in the health and longevity of your trees.

Trimming large trees results in better-looking and better-performing trees. Take a moment to consider the reasons why regularly trimming large trees is important, worth your time, and worth your money.

  • Large landscaping trees add beauty and value to your property – and to protect that value, maintenance is essential.
  • Trees that aren’t regularly trimmed can grow to look unbalanced, impacting curb appeal or even property value.
  • Untrimmed trees can block the sun and prevent rain from getting through the branches to promote the growth of grass and flowers under the tree.
  • Without regular trimming, large trees with overgrowth can become weaker and less likely to remain strong and healthy.
  • Trimming large trees for safety reasons is a necessity. Heavy winds and severe storms can cause dead, diseased, or infested branches to pose significant risks to your home and property.

Q: When’s the Best Time to Trim a Large Tree?

If a tree is posing a hazard, you shouldn’t put this off – take care of this as soon as possible to avoid a dangerous situation.

Otherwise, try to remember to inspect your trees annually during the early spring. It’s best to trim large trees when the tree is dormant – typically sometime between late fall and early spring. Cutting trees before late spring and summer arrive will help the tree bounce back more quickly and completely.

Q: What’s the Best Trimming Technique for Large Trees?

Properly trimming large trees involves three cuts:

  1. Notch Cut: Cut a small notch, a quarter of the way through the underside of the limb, 2-3 feet away from the trunk.
  2. Relief Cut: Just outside the notch, cut completely through the branch.
  3. Final Cut: Cut right where the branch collar transitions to smooth branch bark, following the slant of the branch collar.

Q: I Already Trimmed My Tree. Should I Cover a Tree Wound?

No! Trees need oxygen to develop natural wound tissue that will seal new tree wounds. Covering the cut or damaged portion of the tree hinders the process for the wound tissue to develop.

When you cover a wound, you also risk sealing rot organisms against the open wound.

Additionally, some fungi and bacteria are even attracted to wound-sealing material, so adding a sealant would be counterproductive!

Q: What Are Some of the Most Common Trimming Missteps?

Trees have a natural response that allows them to wall off, or seal, wounds to help prevent decay or entry of harmful diseases, as we indicated above. Trimming a tree incorrectly can therefore potentially degrade the health of your tree.

Unfortunately, the most common mistake you can make when trimming trees has to do with properly cutting the branches.

1 Cutting the branch too short: If you cut into the branch collar, the tree will have difficulty forming the scar tissue it needs to recover quickly.

2 Leaving the branch too long: Leaving long branch stubs can interfere with and prevent the healing process.

3 Not making relief cuts: A relief cut helps remove most of the limb’s weight, and without it you run the risk of having the branch split off.

Q: Why Should I Pay a Professional to Trim My Large Trees?

This is a reasonable question in difficult economic times, and we take it seriously!

The main thing is that attempting to trim a large tree poses a number of risks.

First, there are safety measures to consider when using ladders and sharp tools to cut high and heavy tree branches.

Secondly, trimming a tree incorrectly can cause irreversible harm to the tree. One wrong cut can weaken your tree or harbor and spread disease that can be deadly.

Professional arborists have gone through extensive training to back their trade with qualified certifications. They provide the quality, reliability, and experience needed to trim your large trees efficiently, effectively, and, most of all, safely.

Trust the Professionals at B&R Tree Service

Large trees are one of nature’s greatest gifts. Privacy, shade, cleaner air, a natural noise filter, property value, and beauty are just some of the amazing qualities and benefits that big trees provide.

As marvelous as it may be that trees are able to take care of themselves for the most part, there are times when they may need your help along the way.

Trimming large, mature trees is a task that should be done with planning, care, and consideration to avoid harming the tree, yourself, or valuable property.

Many homeowners attempt this feat on their own but end up hiring a trusted arborist – usually after realizing the expertise and skill that’s required to trim a large tree. Save yourself the time and effort! Reach out to a reputable tree company from the start.

B&R Tree Service is a full-service Massachusetts tree removal and landscape care company. We have offices in Natick, Charlton, and Shrewsbury – and an expert team of certified arborists waiting to answer any other tree trimming questions you have.

We’ve worked at some of the most exclusive properties and we’re proud to bring this talent to everyone’s plants and trees. We’d enjoy the opportunity to let you see your tree’s full potential.

Call us today, and let’s talk:

Natick – (978) 369-6019

Charlton –(508) 248-9100

Shrewsbury – (508) 845-6111

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