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Tips on How to Trim a Tree

Shashank Nakate Jan 11, 2019
Here are trimming tips for different plants like the oak, apple, and pine. General tips for pruning these plants can be obtained from the information presented ahead.
The practice of trimming helps keep the plants in a healthy state, and also prevent their branches from straying into the paths of power lines. It is also possible to shape the trees by means of trimming, that also helps in preventing rot which easily spread on branches that are broken or dead.

Tips for Trimming Trees

It is common sense to remove/trim the dead or diseased branches off the trees. However, one should also understand the details about this practice (trimming) to know more about its importance. For example, branches which form tight crotches are prone to rotting and getting damaged. These tight crotches should therefore, be trimmed.

Oak Tree

Tips for understanding the timing/season and method of trimming oak trees:
  • Winter is considered to be the best for oak tree trimming. During this season, oak reaches its peak dormancy level.
  • There is one more reason apart from that of dormancy to choose the winter season for trimming. Chances of pest infestation (resulting from cuts on branches) during the winter months are lesser.
  • It is advisable to begin trimming from the underside of the branch. A distance of about 1 foot should be left between the cut and the main branch.
  • During the cutting process from underneath, continue till the quarter of width of the branch. Once quarter width is reached, the process should be started from above and continue till the branch is completely severed.
  • Trimming oaks need to be carried out every season, especially in the developmental stage. Later, reduce frequency as the trees mature.

Apple Tree

The process of trimming is important from the point of fruit production and overall growth of this plant.
  • Late winter is considered to be ideal for trimming apple tree branches. One can also prune this plant in early spring. The dormant phase of apple in winter facilitates the trimming process.
  • Pruning is carried out in summer if one has to remove tree suckers.
  • First pruning of apple plants needs to be carried out just before the growth of buds is seen. Regular pruning should be started after the apple tree attains a height of 36 inches.
  • The different parts of an apple tree which need to be pruned are: suckers, downward-growing branches, broken branches, upward growing interior branches, criss-cross branches, narrow crotches, competing leaders, whorls.

Pine Tree

The pine is an evergreen plant. It is pruned between early June and early July.
  • Damaged and diseased branches of pine are mostly present on the inside of this tree. Trimming should therefore, start from inside and continue outwards.
  • Trimming on dry/hot days needs to be avoided; pruning pine trees on hot days makes them weak.
    • It is necessary to use well-sanitized equipment. The dissemination of insects (and their eggs) from one tree to other is prevented.
    • The period between late fall and early spring is of dormancy for the pine trees. Sap flow gets reduced during this time of the year. Training and shaping the trees at this time should encourage growth after the dormancy.
    The importance of pruning/training/shaping is highlighted through tree trimming tips presented here. One should take all the necessary precautions mentioned during the process of trimming.