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5 Answers to Tree Trimming Questions

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If you have never scheduled professional tree trimming before, you may have some general questions about the process. The following may answer some of these questions. 

1. When Should Trees Be Trimmed?

Mature trees are typically pruned in very late winter or very early spring, during the period when the buds on the twigs are swelling but have yet to burst into leaf or bloom. There is a couple of reasons for this. First, the trees are still dormant so the sap won't run heavily from the trimming wounds. Second, most pests are also dormant, so the wounds will be able to seal quickly when rapid spring growth begins before any pests can infect them.

2. Can Trimming Reduce Size?

Trimming can reduce the size of a tree to a point. If a tree is badly overgrown, then your trimming service will gradually reduce the length of the branches over a three-year period. They can remove about a third of a branch's length each year, which will lead to a moderate size reduction over time. A tree cannot be greatly reduced in size, though. It's better to plant trees of an appropriate mature size from the beginning, and then prune them annually so they never grow too large for the space. 

3. How Frequently Are Mature Trees Trimmed?

Mature trees are typically pruned annually but this isn't usually a major trim. Your trimming service will mainly be removing any dead and damaged wood, along with branches that have poor growth form such as those that rub together. Extensive pruning is reserved for young trees and those that have not been properly pruned in several years. 

4. Will Trimming Harm the Tree?

Trimming doesn't harm a tree if it is done properly, which is why it is best left to the professionals. Branches should be cut off flush at their connection point so the wounds heal quickly, for example. Care must also be taken to use properly sharpened and clean tools so that wounds are clean and not infection-prone. 

5. What Happens to the Removed Branches?

Most tree services include the hauling off of the branches as part of their quoted price. If a lot of branches will be removed, they may use a wood chipper to mulch them onsite for easier removal. You can request to keep some of the mulch in this case. 

Contact a tree trimming service in your area if you have further questions.