Autumn is a good time to give your tree a trim

tree-trimmingWith the advent of autumn, folks here in Northern Illinois will soon bring out the rakes to sweep the leaves from their lawns. The falling of leaves, however, doesn’t just mean it’s a good time to rake; it’s also a good time to trim.

Are there branches on your trees you’ve wanted to trim? You might even have some branches you really should trim. Maybe a branch is dying. Maybe some branches have grown out too far and are blocking sunlight from other plants or from areas where you don’t want so much shade. You might have branches growing over power lines or precipitously dangling over your home.

Sure, tree trimming is something you can do any time of year, even in Northern Illinois. But, there are times of year when it’s better to do that tree trimming you’ve planned. There are times of year when it’s not such a good idea to do any tree pruning.

There are times of year that, if you do trim a tree you may inadvertently invite disease of an invasion of insects. When you trim a branch, you essentially create an open wound on the tree. That’s an open invitation to potential problems.

When the leaves start falling it’s a sign, a sign that the tree is starting to hibernate for the season. With trees, it’s called going dormant rather than hibernating but it’s the same idea. When the tree is dormant it’s less susceptible to disease and insects.

When dormant, there’s less growth activity. That means there is less sap pumping through the branches and it’s more difficult for bugs and diseases to move on in. Besides, bugs and disease thrive when it’s warm, too.

Another way to look at it is by comparing the tree to your body. If you’re hurt or sick, your body needs rest so you can recover. It’s the same for a tree. When it’s dormant, it’s recouping and preparing for the next growing season ahead. So, if you trim a tree while it’s dormant, it will heal better and will have scabbed over that wound long before buds appear on the branches in the spring.

Tree trimming is often a good idea. Tree pruning removes deadwood allowing for better foliage in the spring and summer. In fact, trimming unhealthy branches allows the tree to avoid wasting energy for growing on bad branches while concentrating on all those good branches. Tree trimming can allow a tree to grow bigger, better and stronger.

When you do tree pruning, cut unwanted branches all the way back. This will help to prevent new branches from springing out of the same spot.

Some people used to spray tar or other chemicals onto the spot where they cut a branch. Professionals have stopped with that practice long ago.

If you cut in the warmer months, the tree may lose some sap. That’s not as likely when the weather cools.

Of course, you’ll have the same general benefits tree pruning in the winter but who wants to do that outside here in Northern Illinois when it’s 10 below, the wind is howling and the wood is harder to cut?

Of course, for those hard to reach branches, or if you’re just not sure which branches to tree and where, you can also call a professional, such as the experts at Cal & Shan’s – 815-509-1026.