Tree trimming and pruning are important steps in tree maintenance. Trimming away dead limbs and old-growth helps produce new healthy growth during the growing season.
If you're new to trimming and pruning, it may have a lot of questions about the process and what tools to use. Here are some answers to some commonly asked questions about tree trimming.
Are Trimming And Pruning The Same Thing?
While the terms pruning and trimming seem like the same process, there are differences. You prune trees to remove unnecessary branches. This includes dead, loose, or diseased branches.
You trim trees to encourage healthier growth. This includes removing overgrowth and allowing the plant to focus its energy on new growth.
Trimming and pruning are done at different times of the year. You prune trees during their dormant period. You trim trees to remove diseased, dead, or overgrowth at any time of the year.
Limb Verses Branch: What's The Difference?
The terms limbs and branches are often used interchangeably. However, they are different parts of the tree.
Branches are all woody structures growing from a tree's trunk. Limbs are a primary division of a tree bough or trunk and grow foliage.
Do Lower Branches Require Trimming?
In most cases, you don't remove lower branches on trees. The lower branches serve as reinforcement for the tree's structure.
During storms or windy conditions, the lower limbs protect the lower trunk from direct hits from strong winds. Removing lower limbs also leads to decay or insect infestation.
Removing lower branches also increases a tree's water usage. This happens because the limbs that are removed allow more sunlight to penetrate the ground where tree roots are located.
What Tool Should I Use To Trim Trees?
Whether tree pruning or trimming, you want a tool to provide clean cuts. A tool known as bypass trimmers cut like scissors. They have a curved blade that slides past a lower broad blade.
These trimmers provide a clean-cut but make sure to choose the right tool based on the size of limbs.
- Hand pruners are for limbs an inch or less in diameter.
- Loppers are ideal for branches up to 2 inches in diameter.
- Pruning saw cleanly cut up to 3-inch diameter branches.
- Rope saws cut branches up to 5 inches in diameter.
- Chainsaws cut limbs 3 inches in diameter or larger.
You use pole pruners for branches out of reach. Most pole pruners cut branches up to 2 inches in diameter.
Understanding the proper tree care and what tools to use help you keep your trees healthy. If you have questions or concerns about trimming or pruning, contact a local arborist or tree service in your area.