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How to Properly Prune Your Trees

Pruning your trees is an important part of maintaining the health and beauty of your Midwest landscape. Properly pruned trees can have stronger, more resilient branches and a more attractive overall shape. 

However, pruning can also be harmful if not done correctly, so it’s important to follow a few key steps to ensure that your trees are pruned properly.

licensed tree worker carrying a large branch

Why You Should Have Your Trees Pruned

First, it’s important to understand why you should prune your trees. Pruning helps to remove dead or damaged branches, which can prevent the spread of disease and insects. It can also help to shape the tree, directing its growth in a way that is more aesthetically pleasing.

Additionally, pruning can help to improve the tree’s overall health and vigor.

Failure to prune can also pose a safety risk. In the city of Sioux Falls, for example, homeowners often receive letters regarding Project T.RI.M. This is a proactive tree inspection program to address low-hanging tree branches over streets and sidewalks. It is the responsibility of the property owner to maintain safe walkways for pedestrians.

Doing It Yourself? Consider The Risks.

We certainly recommend that you hire a certified and licensed arborist to perform your tree pruning. However, if you decide to do it yourself, please only do so for lightweight branches that you can safely reach from the ground.

We all like to save a buck, but let’s be smart. Only certified arborists should prune branches that:

  • Require any climbing to reach
  • Are large or heavy
  • Hang near or over property like a rooftop or cars
  • Might be diseased or infected

Also, a professional is insured should any damages occur. A branch may fall on your roof, and wouldn’t it be better to have them foot that bill? Or, what if you injure yourself while attempting to prune your trees, ending up with an urgent care cost?

By choosing a professional like Weller Brothers, you can have peace of mind knowing we are insured and will also carry out a risk assessment before working on your trees.

Now, do you simply have lightweight branches hanging over your sidewalk that need to be cut back? Okay, you can probably handle that.

Let’s talk about how to do it properly.

How to Prune Your Trees

Before you begin pruning, it’s important to inspect the tree carefully. Look for any dead or damaged branches, as well as any branches that are crossing or rubbing against each other. These are the branches that should be removed first.

When pruning:

  • Use a pair of pruning shears, loppers, or a saw, depending on the size of the branch you’re cutting.
  • Make clean, sharp cuts.
  • Cut just above a bud or lateral branch to encourage new growth.
  • Avoid leaving stubs, as these can lead to disease and decay.

Key Considerations When Pruning

It’s also important to prune trees at the right time of year

In general, it’s best to prune trees while they are dormant, in the late winter or early spring. This allows the tree to focus its energy on healing and new growth once it wakes up from its winter dormancy. 

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if you need to remove a branch that is diseased or infested with insects, it’s better to do it as soon as possible to prevent the spread of the problem.

When pruning, it’s also important to consider the overall shape and structure of the tree. Don’t be too aggressive with your pruning, as this can damage the tree and interfere with its natural growth patterns. Instead, try to prune in a way that enhances the tree’s natural shape and form.

Need Tree Pruning in Sioux Falls?

sioux falls tree removal team wearing hard hats

Overall, pruning your trees can be a rewarding experience that helps to keep your landscape healthy and beautiful. By following these simple guidelines, you can help to ensure that your trees are properly pruned and well-maintained.

If you have more important things to do with your time than giving your trees the TLC they need, sit back and contact the professionals.

Our experienced tree and horticulture teams in Sioux Falls, SD are happy to perform your tree pruning – or even removal, if needed. We have licensed arborists and are ready to help.

Note – tree health and removal services are only available at our Sioux Falls, SD, location.