Pruning your trees is one of the best ways to keep them looking beautiful and staying healthy, no matter what life throws at it. Keeping trees pruned and healthy will also lessen the risk of extensive property damage if something goes wrong. It can even help with the cost of tree removal when the tree does eventually have to go.

Often, we talk to people who understand the benefits of tree pruning, but they don’t understand how to do it OR they take tree pruning into their own hands and end up making a mess of things. No matter what, make sure that you reach out to a professional to take of trimming your tree. Often, the need to trim a tree can be tied back to another problem that makes your tree unsafe. Even if it is just because your tree is too overgrown, you really need to use proper techniques.

When should trees be pruned and when should you just let them be? Here are 5 signs it is time to schedule a trim:

4. You Have Some Broken Branches

  • Branches that break naturally or because of damage may need trimming
  • These wounds may need professional treatment
  • Most common after winter storms

Trees sometimes face an environmental nemesis and end up with broken branches or wounds. Sometimes, they will require even more trimming to help keep the tree healthy and other times they won’t need anything else. Damage due to heavy rain and wind often need to be looked at because of rotting and infestations that can develop.

According to the Arbor Day Foundation, what you do after a tree has been hit by a storm can be make or break in its health and recovery – so many sure to contact a professional.

3. You Spot Deep Cracks From Forming

  • Caused by temperature changes
  • Young fruit trees particularly susceptible to this damage
  • Can cause splintering of the tree

One of the most common problems faced by trees in our area is tree bark cracks. These cracks are formed because of significant temperature fluctuations, namely when it is cold out at night and then the sun itself heats up the trees. This phenomenon can also cause sunscalding.

Cracks, when they start, continue to get deeper and deeper and move up the branches of the tree. There is a lot of tension there, and it can cause the tree to be stressed. According to the US Department of Agriculture, this is most common in maple, oak, walnut, and beech trees. Mostly, cracks and splits in trees can open your tree up to infestations and other problems that will slowly, but surely, kill your tree. It doesn’t take a long time for those cracks to become a home for insects, so you should act quickly to have the tree pruned and dressed.

2. It Is Hard To See Through Your Greenery

  • Too much greenery can be dangerous for your safety
  • Can also weigh down the tree, especially when it is windy
  • This is particularly troublesome in the summer

Another common problem that requires tree pruning is when your trees are actually too dense. While this might not sound like a problem, it is a safety concern for many reasons. The first is that trees with heavy branches are more likely to fall in bad weather. When we get those heavy summertime storms, the wind can easily bring down the branches, according to the American Forestry Association.

Also problematic, foliage that is too thick will make home security a problem. If you cannot see through the trees, you cannot see if there are any safety concerns when you are inside. At the same time, people can’t see into your yard or home if there is a security concern and you aren’t able to get help.

Trimming away some of that greenery can help you to stay safe.

1. Cankers Are Forming

  • All signs of disease or decay need to be checked
  • Pruning can stop infections
  • Areas with infection tend to be weaker

If you look at your tree and see that there are places where the bark looks like it has sunk or that it is missing, this is a sign that you might need to prune that part of the tree away. These are called cankers, and they can be caused by any number of things, including insects, chemicals, wounding, environmental conditions, fungi, or any other disease. This wound is particularly popular in younger fruit trees that have a difficult time recovering from anything that damages the inner workings of the tree.

According to the Morton Arboretum, “Cankers are usually oval to elongate, but can vary considerably in size and shape. Typically, they appear as localized, sunken, slightly discolored, brown-to-reddish lesions on the bark of trunks and branches, or as injured areas on smaller twigs. The bark often splits between the diseased and the healthy tissue, and sometimes it may ooze sap or moisture. The inner bark turns black and sometimes gives off a foul odor.” If you see this, you need professional help.

All trees can fall victim to cankers, so trimming them away as much as possible is ideal. The tree should only be pruned by a professional who knows how to clean off the tools so that the disease doesn’t spread.

If you happen to be looking for a tree care professional in South Jersey who can give your trees a world class trim and prevent any other problems, give Bumblebee Tree Service a call today at (609) 297-1721. We will help you to better understand your trees and have all of the appropriate equipment to take care of any problems that pop up, including removal after a tree has died, pruning, stump removal, and more. Tree trimming might seem simple, but it just isn’t – there is a lot that you have to know and do before you can successfully and healthfully prune.

Header photo courtesy of Maarten Heerlien on Flickr!