A Guide to Trimming Your Trees in Spring

Spring tree trimming requires careful thought. You can’t just snip off branches wherever you’d like. You need to understand how your tree species behaves, its ideal conditions, and your ultimate goals in trimming trim it. To help, here’s a guide to trimming your trees in the spring.

Determine Your Goal

First, know why you want to trim your trees. If you want to prioritize your trees’ health as they grow, your methods will be different than if you wanted to pursue a certain aesthetic or clear away limbs to make them more functional. For example, crown thinning to help sunlight reach each layer of limbs promotes the health of the trees, whereas crown raising involves removing low-hanging limbs that are in the way. Understanding what you want to pursue gives you clarity about trimming and pruning your trees.

When to Trim

Ideally, tree trimming is best in winter months, when branches are bare and there are no springtime buds yet. That said, early spring trimming is certainly possible, particularly if you catch your trees before they leave their dormant winter phase. Cutting dead or diseased branches is beneficial at any time to free up more sunlight for healthy limbs and relieve the trees of some dead weight.

Some Trimming Risks

The reason trimming too late in the spring compromises tree health is because, when you cut healthy branches, you remove existing buds and lessens the trees’ overall growth that year. This is fine to do in moderation when you need to clear the way for a sidewalk or other plants, but the more you cut, the more you limit growth. Additionally, many pests and diseases enter through open tree cuts. Be wary of over-trimming ash, oak, elm, and sycamore trees, all of which could fall prey to species-specific issues if you go too far.

Let the Experts Handle Your Tree Trimming

The final element to trimming your tree in spring is letting a professional crew handle the job. The job is potentially dangerous, and with the risks of property damage and tree health, it’s often better left to people with experience. Partner with a quality tree trimming service, or find landscaping help through Billy.com.

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