Safe Tree-Trimming Practices. Why? When? How much?
There are many reasons why you would want to trim your trees: to enhance beauty, to remove defects, and to help mitigate risk and hazards. One thing to know is that tree trimming is both the best thing you can do for your tree and the worst thing you can do. Trimming should start when the tree is young with training and structured pruning once every year to two years following the season after the installation. The tree species will determine how long this will need to happen. For instance, maples don’t require much training, but elms and willows may require a trim every year and sometimes twice a year. After proper training, there is very minimal trimming required, if at all. Most of the defects and problems were removed when the tree was young and it could handle the stress. When a mature tree has a large amount trimmed or defects removed, it can severely stress the tree and sometimes lead to decline and death. If you're wanting to trim your tree for the health of the tree, I always suggest waiting until a health assessment of the tree has been performed. Trimming a tree can put it through massive stress, and the quality of workmanship is vital. How the tree is cut determines its ability to compartmentalize and close those wounds. There are specific areas of chemical reaction in the wood, and if the branch is not cut to these areas, the tree will not compartmentalize and seal the wound. Instead, it will create internal decay that cannot be viewed from the outside and can lead to future failures.