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Tree Trimming
Written by Elizabeth Wood
Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement

Pruning is the ideal way to produce strong, healthy, attractive plants. Early spring is a great time to begin pruning trees. During the change in season, most trees and shrubs begin to bud. By pruning them at this time, you can shape and trim back branches before they start to grow. This allows you to control they way in which they grow and bloom. However, certain trees and shrubs will need more time before they are ready to prune.

Trees that are newly planted, stressed or sick take more time to begin budding. For this reason, you will have to wait longer before you start to prune. Also, trees that drip excessive sap, often called “bleeders” need more time as well. Such trees include maple, elm, birch, golden chain, and yellowwood. You will have to wait until they are done dripping sap before you begin to prune them.

Once you have figured out which trees can be pruned in early spring and which ones need more time, you need to know where to begin your pruning. The first step in pruning is to remove any dead branches, branches that could fall and cause injury or damage, and trimming branches that interfere with lines of sight on streets or driveways. You will also want to remove any diseased or insect-infested wood, as well as crossing and rubbing branches.

Pruning is also a matter of enhancing the natural form and character of trees. Different trees have many different natural forms. The most common types are pyramidal or spherical. It is best to consider the trees natural form because it is very difficult and requires consistent maintenance if you impose an unnatural form on a tree. However, for those of you that do decide to create an unnatural effect, “pollarding” and “topiary” are two unique methods of pruning that are specially created for unnatural effects.

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