Trees are a great part of our lives. They are beautiful, they send life-giving oxygen into the air, and they provide shade on a hot summer day.

Of course, they require upkeep and attention. We usually notice their need for care when they shed their leaves in autumn.

Tree trimming should also be a part of our annual care of our trees, particularly in urban areas. Make sure that when you do your pruning, you do it in the dormant season.

When you trim a dormant tree, you ensure it a longer, healthier life. Read below for specific information on tree trimming information and techniques.

Why Should You Prune a Tree?

There are many reasons for tree trimming. When we take away dead limbs, the tree becomes healthier.

If trees are too dense with limbs and branches, alleviating the tree of that excess density will allow more air, sun, and rain to nourish the tree. We can also eliminate branches that threaten us and make trees more amenable to our living conditions.

When, for instance, a tree is planted near a driveway or street, we don’t want branches interfering with cars or pedestrians. Thus, we use the dormant season to prune low-lying branches and thus raise the crown of the tree. In this way, trees and people maintain a healthy equilibrium in urban areas.

Why Wait until the Tree is Dormant?

One reason to do your tree pruning during the dormant season is that the insects that carry disease are likewise dormant. Wait until well into the dormant season to ensure that the insects are all gone.

You might also wait to prune until after the first hard freeze of winter to trim limbs just to make sure. This will ensure that the tree is fully dormant, as well. When limbs break¬†or are cut during their verdant time, the sap emits an odor that attracts disease vectors. When the warm weather returns and the sap begins to flow again, the tree’s wounds will quickly heal.

Another reason to wait until later in the dormant season is that you can shorten the time that the tree sits with an open wound.

In general, avoid pruning between April and October. Depending on your local climate, February or March might make for an optimal time to prune.

Tree Trimming Techniques for Large Branches

To prune a large branch, you should first consult a qualified arborist or a landscaping company. If you go forth on your own, exercise care with the larger branches.

First, you will want to make a cut somewhere between 18 inches and two feet from the main trunk of the tree. That initial cut should be from the bottom of the branch and only about 1/3 through it.

Then, make a second cut from the top. The second cut should also be about 1/3 through the branch. The branch should snap apart from its own weight.

Your final cut should be just beyond the branch collar. This is the thickened tissue at the very base of the branch. Leave the branch collar whole and untouched, as that will ensure optimal healing.

As a note, the best tree trimming techniques always rely on using the right tools.

Consult an Experienced Tree Pruning Specialist

When the dormant season comes to the Portland, Oregon area, you want the best tree trimming specialists available.

Contact us and we will be happy to discuss your pruning needs.

No matter the time of year, we are Portland’s premier landscaping service!