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Tree Trimming: It's About The Quality Of The Cuts

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When trimming a tree, how do you approach the task? Some people lop off branches as fast as they can. Others take their time and are more precise with their cuts. In general, if you have the time to do so, you are usually better off being careful with your cuts. The quality of your cuts, after all, does impact the way the trim affects the tree and how it heals. Here's a closer look at the impact of cut quality and some tips for delivering better-quality cuts.

The Impact of Good Cuts

While trimming is usually good for the tree's long-term health, it can present some short-term challenges. The tree does lose some sap through the cut, which it will need to replace. Cuts can also attract insects, which can spread various fungal diseases. The impact of these factors goes down if the cuts made into the tree are clean and straight. Jagged cuts leak more sap than crisp, clean ones.

The risk of fungal infection also goes down if the cuts are made with clean, sanitized shears. All in all, your tree will bounce back and flourish sooner when the cut is high quality.

Tips for Better Cuts

First off, always sanitize your shears. You can just use a bucket of bleach water. Dunk the shear blades in before trimming, and re-dunk them between trees to avoid spreading fungal diseases.

When you make a cut, take the time to carefully position the bottom blade in the area where you want to cut. Ideally, you'll cut the branch just a tiny distance from the trunk so that you leave just a little nub. Make your cut swiftly, using quick force on the shears. You do not want to have to open and close the shears several times or saw back and forth. 

If you have a large branch, you can instead trim it by first making a diagonal cut leaning towards the tree. Then, open the blades, and place them at the opposite diagonal. Cut again; your lines will intersect, and the tree branch will fall to the ground. While the branch will have a "point," the cuts should be cleaner.

When trimming any tree, it is always wise to make your cuts as clean as possible. The tips above can help you do just that. Don't be afraid to hire a tree trimming service if you need any help.