Four Signs Your Trees Need Pruning
By John Stonaker, Apr 26 2019 08:13PM
The goals of tree pruning are to keep your trees healthy, to save unhealthy trees, and to protect life and property. With this in mind, there are four signs that can indicate it’s time to prune.
Excessive or wild growth
Although we plant trees for their beautiful foliage and shade, when unmanaged, trees can become wild and overgrown. Crossed branches can rub against each other, damaging the bark and allowing pests or disease to invade. Overly dense foliage can trap winds during storms and increase the risk of breakage. If you can’t see through your tree, it’s too dense.
When trees are permitted to grow unpruned, sometimes multiple main branches, called leaders, can develop. This can create an imbalance in the shape of the tree and cause weakening of one or more leaders. Breakage of a leader would cause a great deal of damage to the tree and perhaps to your property.
Trees planted in a yard can often grow wider than they naturally would, causing large, heavy, horizontal branches that can easily weaken and snap. If you are seeing broken branches, it’s a sign that your tree has already reached a weakened state. Disease could soon develop.
If branches have been breaking, disease may have already set in. Long, deep cracks or bare spots in the bark also signal disease. Sawdust near the base of the tree indicates insect activity, as can the presence of woodpeckers. Finally, dead branches or branches with fewer leaves than other branches need to be removed before they break and fall.
Potential property damage
It’s important to keep branches away from houses and electric lines, and make sure any branches that overhang the driveway are healthy. Sometimes the roots of trees planted too close to a home or patio can also cause damage.
Because trees are living, growing organisms that are constantly changing over time, it’s important to maintain them regularly to avoid these problems. However, if you do see any of these signs, please do not try to do major pruning on your own. Find a licensed professional to help you protect your assets and keep your trees healthy so they enhance your property for years to come.