Many people know that tree and plant trimming is something that they should do, but more often than not they avoid this chore when they can. However, what they may not realize is that by ignoring the need to trim, they may be doing far more harm than good. Proper tree trimming is not just important, but necessary for a plant to grow healthier and stronger than it could on its own.
Trimming is more than just a hair cut for plants. While cosmetically these two actions seem similar, trimming goes beyond the superficial. Trimming is crucial to protecting plants from harsh weather, as well as ensuring that nutrients are properly distributed throughout the plant.
Trimming, believe it or not, does carry risks, and if not done properly, could leave your plants severely damaged, or worse. However, proper trimming will leave your plants with better air flow, as well as better protection against strong winds and storms.
What is the proper way to trim trees and other plants? First, begin by cutting away entire limbs that appear diseased or dead. These are often obvious with discolored, yellowed, or otherwise strange looking leaves and even bark. Branches that are already dead or on their way to dying are simply draining the healthy portions of the plants of nutrients.
The next stage is removing any branches that appear to be in immediate danger of obstacles or even the elements. The biggest concern of most homeowners is trees that are growing too close to power lines. Trees are obviously rooted to the ground, but touching power lines is almost guaranteed to kill them. Not only will the surge of electricity act like a lightning bolt, but trees easily catch fire from electrical hazards. If a tree is located next to power lines and your home, or a neighbor’s, it is a huge potential hazard that could set at least one home ablaze.
If you notice that certain trees seem to take the brunt of harsh weather, it would be best to start with them. By removing outlying branches, you can reduce the risk of them flying off in a storm, or even the tree becoming uprooted.
Once you are left with only healthy branches, it is time to focus on any wildly growing ones; ones that are nowhere near the rest of the plant, or those that just seem out of place. While mostly cosmetic, this does help the plant as a whole grow better, as well as look better.
It is recommended that you only remove a few branches at any one time. By cutting branches off, you are damaging the plant. While these will eventually recover and even grow back, it does put a lot of strain on the plant in the meantime. For most homeowners, time is typically on their side, and even if the trimming process takes a few weeks with a wait and see attitude, it will achieve better results and reduce the risk of killing the plant.