If there is a portion of your property in which you cannot seem to get grass and plants to grow that is under a canopy of big trees, it might be time to look up for a solution. Those beautiful trees are probably preventing the grass and plants on the ground below from getting the sunlight that they need. But before you chop down those trees, there's something you can try. Lacing the trees could provide the ground with the sunlight it needs without costing you the trees.
What is tree lacing?
Tree lacing is simply thinning out the tree canopy. Some limbs will be removed from the tree to allow the sunlight and air to flow more freely to the ground where it needs to be. Not only will the lacing help with the plants below, but it will also improve the health of the tree and reduce the likelihood of insect infestations in the branches.
How is a tree laced?
You can do the lacing yourself, or you can hire a tree trimming professional to do it for you. If you are considering doing it yourself, you will need a few supplies and a little knowledge.
- Hand Pruner
- Pole Pruner
- Safety Glasses and Gloves
Plan the project for a clear day with lots of sun. You need to be able to see the sun shining through the branches so that you can get a good idea of where the tree needs to be thinned.
Take a walk around the tree looking up to get a game plan. Map out what branches can be removed without causing the tree to become misshaped or awkward.
Start with Dead Branches
Any branch that is no longer growing leaves should be removed. Cut a wedge about 4 inches from the trunk of the tree, starting on the underside of the branch. Then, place the blade at the top of the branch roughly 1-inch further away from the trunk and cut back towards the first cut. This will help the branch fall without ripping the bark off of the trunk and exposing the tree to potential diseases and insect infestations.
Remove "V" Shaped Branches
Look around for branches that shoot out in the shape of a "V." These branches may not be a problem today, but over the years, they will become very heavy and could cause the limb to break, fall and damage limbs and items below. Use the same method of cutting as you did with the dead branches.
Thin Branches Close Together
If the sunlight isn't shining through to your liking, look around for branches that are growing very closely together. Cut one of those branches using the same cutting technique as before.
When you are done, the tree should look like a lace doily as the sun shines through. If you aren't confident in your ability to complete this project on your own, talk with your local tree trimming professional for assistance.