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What Are the Techniques for Cutting Back Overgrown Trees?

Like any living thing, you want to be sure to take care of and tend to your trees. This can be easily done with proper tree cutting techniques. If you’re invested in learning about how to do this on your own, the correct tree cutting techniques can be found below.

If, however, you’re not sure and would prefer to call in professionals, Mr. Tree Services offers help from expert arborists who know their trees, their tree cutting techniques, and their safety protocols. For any of your tree needs, Mr. Tree is here to assist you.

There are a handful of things to consider before starting any sort of tree trimming or pruning. First, not all trees are created equally. There isn’t just one “right” time to prune the tree, and it’s important to do the research to determine when tree cutting is best. You also need to find the right amount to cut off. It’s possible to over-prune. Keep reading to find out how you can use the correct techniques to cut back overgrown trees.

Basic Tree Care

There are a few primary reasons why you should prune regularly.

One important reason is safety. If the tree is overgrown, there’s a higher risk of pieces of it breaking off and falling. During a strong storm, a tree can be pretty badly damaged, and overgrown branches can break and dislodge. Tree trimming needs to be prioritized and done regularly. This is also true when it comes to overgrowth that extends toward power lines or obstructs parts of public spaces, like the street.

Second, the health of the tree depends on quality pruning. It’s not just tree fungus that can start to overwhelm and kill off a tree. Overgrowth can negatively affect the overall health of the tree and can cause the tree to get sick or even die. Any dead or infected branches or parts should be trimmed away. If there are branches growing too close together or even physically touching, they should be thinned out a bit. This way, the tree can have more space for airflow and to properly grow.

Last, there is the aesthetic. The appearance of the tree is often a large part of why it’s selected for a private property or business. By pruning regularly, the tree can continue to look its best.

Tips in Advance

When you first plant a tree, it makes sense to stay on top of routine and seasonal pruning. Once the tree is bigger and has already had some of its growth spurts, it becomes a little harder to try to “curb” the bigger branches. Keeping the tree healthy from early on will help it in the long-term, but it will also minimize the amount of work you need to do with pruning and trimming.

Again, there’s a specific time for certain trees to be pruned. Evergreens are the type of tree that can be tended to year-round. A deciduous tree is a different story, however. They should only be trimmed after the fall, so either in winter or early spring. What matters is that the tree is in its dormant state.

Preview the tree and take note of what the branches look like. You should see V-shaped and U-shaped angles. Generally, speaking, the U-shaped angles will be able to bear more weight, so you can give them a bit more growth before taking a saw to them. The V-shaped angles can be weaker and make more sense to cut off. It also makes sense to cut branches that are smaller in diameter (under about 10 centimeters) since the tree will be able to keep growing and replacing branches. Anything above that size and you risk damaging the tree or having it become sick.

Crown of the Tree

As a base rule, the crown should be kept to a ratio of about two-thirds the height of the overall tree. It is recommended to address the crown little by little if the goal is to thin it out. Otherwise, all the distal branches can be spaced evenly for optimized growth and health. Remove branches that threaten to grow across or run into other branches.

Remember, the tree is alive, and as tempting as it is to give the tree a good haircut in one go, the tree will need time to adjust to the changes. So it’s recommended you don’t trim more than a quarter of the tree at a time. If you’re working on cutting away damaged parts, be sure to give the tree time to heal and adjust.

Finally, if there’s a part of the tree that requires the removal of more than half of a branch, just take the whole branch off. Leaving a little nub or portion of the branch can do more harm than good. Take the whole thing to preserve the tree.

Trimming and Pruning Techniques

Whether you’re working on cutting away a dead branch or an alive one, be sure to use the same technique to cut off the branch. There’s a ridge that sits parallel to the out-shoot of the branch and the joint where the branch joins the trunk. When making a cut, be sure to cut on the outside of the ridge of the branch. Focus on using a downward angle, and cut away from the trunk. Avoid contact with the branch collar too, as it could damage the tree.

If you’re cutting a portion of dead tree, be sure to cut back enough to the healthy part of the tree so it has a chance at growing. All the dead material needs to be cut away so that the tree can regenerate from the alive, healthy part.

If tree trimming isn’t for you, Mr. Tree is here to make sure the job is done right. For any questions or an estimate, contact Mr. Tree today.

Mr. Tree Service Portland

We have served the Portland metro area and all surrounding communities since 2000, with over 30 years of experience in residential and commercial tree care. We offer the highest quality work for you with a wide range of services. Call us today for your free estimate! We are an OHSA Approved, Drug Free Workplace. We are licensed bonded and insured for your protection and your neighbors