Tree Trimming Service
Trimming a tree is often a necessary task for maintaining the health of a tree and/or the safety of those around it. Before taking on a tree trimming project, whether through a service or on your own, there is a lot of planning and preparation involved such as contacting a utility company to ground nearby power lines and/or mapping out a safe limb removal plan.
There are many reasons why a tree may need to be trimmed including to maintain an attractive shape, promote better tree health, and protect surrounding people and structures. Here is more information on when tree trimming is necessary:
Trees growing near power lines are not only prone to affecting your home’s power, they are also a fire and safety risk. Dealing with tree branches near power lines is not something to take on by yourself. Instead, call tree trimming service professionals.
If a tree’s shape starts to get a little unruly, a tree trim can give it a nice pruned look. However, some abnormal tree shapes are not beneficial to the health of certain trees.
Branches can grow too close and start to wear on each other and sometimes a thinning of a tree crown can increase airflow and promote good tree health.
These limbs can be dangerous because they are loose heavy branches that could get picked up by wind and thrown or fall at any time. Any person or structure underneath this type of limb is in harm’s way.
If a low hanging tree is blocking the vision of drivers at a crucial point putting drivers and/or pedestrians at risk, then tree trimming can be a simple fix for a potentially disastrous situation. Also trees obstructing nice backyard, pool, or beach views can be cut back for personal enjoyment.
Sometimes neighbors do not appreciate other people’s trees creeping into their properties. If you are that unlucky person with a tree toeing the property line, then you may need to call in a tree trimming service.
The Cost of Tree Trimming
The average cost of tree trimming is between $100 and $1,200. That number can fluctuate dramatically depending on certain factors like the size of the tree, difficulty of the job, number of trees needing trimming, materials needed, and state of the tree such as if it has any diseases or if it is infested with pests.
How to Trim a Tree Yourself
Since trimming a tree can be a dangerous task, most jobs should be left to professionals. However, small and simple pruning can be successfully completed on your own. Read on for more information on when to trim a tree, what trimming tools are needed, and trimming techniques and tips.
Best Time to Trim a Tree
The best time to trim a tree is during dormant periods. Here’s why:
Dormant seasons are when the trees are best able to recover from the wounds left behind after trimming.
Sap and resin flow is at a minimum so you will get less sticky during the process.
This time period lowers the risk of spreading tree disease and pests, as fresh cuts often attract these issues.
This does not apply to dead tree branches. The best time to trim a dead branch is as soon as possible. Without a strong grip on the tree, dead branches can fall at any time putting people, homes, and power lines at risk.
Tree Trimming Tools
To trim or prune a tree, you will need the proper set of tools. Here’s a list of some of the tools you may need to buy or rent to do the tree trimming job on your own:
Safety equipment – helmet, goggles, gloves: It is extremely important to be well protected during a tree trimming project as limbs can fall unexpectedly and cause grave injuries.
Ladder: This may be needed to reach higher points in the tree.
Hand-held pruner: The hand pruner is useful for small branches that are easy to snip.
Pole pruner: This tool is a blade attached to a long pole. It allows you to reach heights you normally could not from the ground. Be sure to stand at an angle when using the pole pruner so that you are not directly under the limb that you are about to cut loose. The cost of a pole pruner can range
between $40 and $130.
Lopper: A lopper is larger in size than hand-held pruners and can cut branches that are a little bit bigger. Loppers cost around $20 or $30.
Rope saw: A rope saw consists of a sharp portion of chain that is connected to rope and handles on either side of it. The rope is tossed over a tree branch so the chain rests on the portion you would like to cut. You then move the handles back and forth until the branch is cut and falls. DO NOT stand under the branch that you are cutting. The rope saw saves you from having to climb up into a tree to cut it. Rope saws can cost between $40 and $50.
Hand saw: Hand saws are lightweight and great for limbs that are easily accessible from the ground or a short ladder. Hand saws typically cost around $20.
Tree Trimming and Pruning Techniques
Cleaning up a tree is the basic maintenance of a tree that typically involves clipping off dead or dying branches and trimming back excess growth.
When a tree gets unruly, you may do tree reduction so that its branches are not growing into neighboring property or utility lines. Crown reduction could also simply be done for your own aesthetic preferences. Consult a tree trimming professional to be sure that reduction is healthy option for your specific tree.
As mentioned earlier, tree branches growing too close together can reduce airflow and light, which can negatively affect the health of the tree. This is when you may do some tree thinning to remove some unwanted branches.
The raising process is when you cut down lower hanging branches to make clearings for structures or paths. This could be to improve the view of a home, allow more room for pedestrians or cars, or clear a space for a different use in your yard. However, raising a tree too high can hurt a trees health.
Tree Trimming Safety Checklist
If you are plan on taking on a tree trimming job yourself, first make sure that it is safe to do so.
- Contact your local utility company if the tree limbs you are cutting are anywhere near power lines. They can work with you to ground or protect the power lines before any cuts are made. If this is the case for the limbs you wish you trim, tree trimming professionals are highly recommended for this type of job.
- Do not cut any limbs if there is bad weather or strong winds of any kind.
- Be sure to wear adequate safety gear before beginning any tree trimming project. The most important of these are a helmet, goggles, and gloves.
- Do not climb a tree without a proper safety harness.
- Assess the situation before starting any cuts and make a plan. Determine where the tree limb will fall, make sure you are not in that area at any time, and lay out a clear and safe path for you to take when the branch does begin to fall.
- Grab a friend to help keep an eye on falling tree limbs while you work.
If all safety measures are in place, then keep the following tree trimming tips in mind:
When inspecting a tree, start at the top and work down.
Consider the size of the branch and its falling angle before cutting. This will help to ensure that you have the right tools and safety plan in place for the job.
When a tree is in season, make sure not to cut more than one-fourth off the crown of a tree at one time.
Encourage branches that are at 10 and 2 o’clock angles from the tree trunk.
Do not over prune. Cutting off too many branches can make a tree vulnerable to diseases and other issues. Only remove a branch if it is beneficial to do so.
Do not cut a branch too close. If you remove the branch collar (the swollen area where the tree and branch meet), the tree will not be able to heal as easily and it may be susceptible to disease and pests. Start by cutting about three inches away from the tree collar and then slowly work your way in to be safe.
The correct way to cut a small tree branch is about a quarter of an inch away from a strong bud at a 45 degree angle.
Avoid trimming in the fall. Fall is generally not a good time to do any tree trimming or pruning as the onset of cold weather can hinder the limb wound healing process.
Cut away any branches that are rubbing against each other.
Younger branches are the best to trim. Young branches are not as established as older branches and can recover much better from wounds.
Keep pruning tools sharp for cleaner cuts.
Tree trimming can be essential to maintaining a tree’s health, protecting property from damage, keeping passersby safe, or to preserving the beauty of a landscape.
Be sure to do your research before tackling any tree trimming job yourself or hiring a tree trimming service.