Things to Consider When Pruning Trees

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The summer months have arrived and you are finally enjoying being back out in the garden. You can see there are a number of jobs to attend with all the new growth coming through — including the trees. Part of landscaping your garden will be pruning the trees, but before you head straight in to this job you should consider the best time of year to prune a tree.

Why Prune?

Pruning has a number of benefits including safety, as you will be removing damaged or diseased branches which could cause harm if they fall. Pruning also helps the shape of the tree. Not only does this assist with aesthetics when landscaping, it also helps maintain the structural integrity of the tree. 

It is best to keep on top of pruning since the longer it is left, the harder the job becomes — and the less likely it is the tree will recover.

Pruning Methods

Pruning a tree is often best left to a professional, particularly those which are tall and well established. A professional can also recommend the best way to go about pruning for your tree type. 

By thinning the crown, you are selectively removing branches to help shape the tree and allow more light and air to penetrate. This can involve removing up to 30% of the branches, focussing on those tree shoots which are dead or congested.

A crown reduction will reduce the size of the crown by shortening the branches and is often used when the tree has outgrown the space it is in. Another option is to lift the crown by removing lower branches, giving you more space and shade beneath the tree. A more severe form of crown work is pollarding where the whole head or crown is removed to provide a smaller, attractive tree.

When to Prune

Pruning when the tree is dormant can see a shortening of the side branches, helping to reduce the overall size of the tree and allowing in more light. For some types of smaller evergreens an all over trim every other year in spring or summer may be appropriate.

The best time of the year to prune depends on the variety of tree. Most deciduous trees are best pruned in winter when they are dormant and the branches are easier to see. 

There are some exceptions such as horse chestnut and walnut which should be pruned towards the end of summer, once new growth has matured and to avoid bleeding. Another specific example is the Prunus or cherry tree which needs pruning in mid-summer to help reduce the risk of silver leaf disease.

Pruning is important for the healthy development of a tree — and it’s crucial to prune at the best time for the species of tree. If too much is removed it can lead to growth which is too vigorous and if side branches are ignored the tree can lose its shape and will need to be selectively cut back in order to restore the shape of the tree.

Our landscape team at Glorious Gardens is happy to discuss these ideas in planning (and maintaining) your garden. If you’re considering a “re-do” of your outdoor space, we invite you to call us. We will brainstorm to find the right blend of elements to suit your tastes, your budget and your space.

By |2021-06-03T11:23:20+01:00June 25th, 2020|Blog, Transformations, Trees|Comments Off on Things to Consider When Pruning Trees

About the Author:

In 2006 I formed Glorious Gardens, gathering together skilled practitioners to offer not just design but implementation of these designs and maintenance packages where we could look after the gardens once we had created them. Throughout my career I have designed gardens to inspire people with the heart aching beauty of nature, with shapes, colours, moods and proportions to pleasure the body and calm and delight the mind. I am also an artist who works with colour and abstract shapes and I bring this sensitivity to the 4 dimensions of a garden. I am very good at listening to clients and I’m able to draw out the essence of what a client wants for their outdoor space.