Large trees can significantly increase aesthetic appeal and add value to your home, but when branches become so big that they scrape against the roof, drop leaves into the gutters, block light flow into the house, or become a falling hazard during a storm, it might be time to cut them back. Should you attempt to do it yourself or engage a professional arborist? Trimming large trees might look easy, but it is physically demanding, dangerous, and requires specialized tools and safety equipment to avoid harming the tree, yourself, someone else or your property in the process. Read on to find out more.
When to Consider DIY?
If your tree trimming job is relatively straightforward, for instance if you simply need to remove a small or dead branch that is located lower down on the tree, you can probably tackle it on your own. However, it is vital to ensure that you have the right tools, along with gloves and goggles to protect your eyes and hands. It’s also important to understand that trimming and pruning require cuts at particular areas on the branches or else you could end up harming your beautiful tree.
How to Cut a Tree Branch Without Causing Damage to the Tree
Once you’ve identified a limb that needs to be cut, there’s three cuts you need to make.
- Notch cut – this is small ‘notch’ on the underside of the branch, about two to three feet out from the trunk. It should extend only about a quarter of the way through the thickness of the branch.
- Relief cut – Next, you should cut off the branch just past the notch cut (between the notch cut and the tip of the branch, not between the notch and the trunk). This removes the bulk of the weight of the branch, so the tree won’t split when the final cut is made. When making the relief cut, always make sure beforehand that when the branch falls, it won’t hit anything or anyone
- The final cut is made at the branch collar. This is the collar-like bump that forms where a tree branch grows out from the trunk. It is a common misconception that a branch should be cut off flush to the trunk, but this is not the case. The final cut should be made at the point where the collar narrows into the branch itself.
If you choose to DIY, it’s important to have sound knowledge of tree trimming as this will ensure that you prune the right limbs, at the right points, and in the right manner. You should also understand the appropriate tools required and how to use them safely. It’s also essential to exercise proper care to make sure you don’t wind up injuring yourself, someone else, or your property.
Engaging a Professional Tree Timmer
If the limbs you need to trim cannot be reached from the ground, or if you don’t have the confidence or tools to perform the job yourself, you should contact a tree care specialist or arborist to handle it. Arborists go through extensive training and certification processes to master their trade. They have the knowledge, skills, equipment, and experience to safely perform tree maintenance without the risk of injury, and tree or property damage.
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Spring is the perfect time to bring your landscape back to life. Whether it’s trimming trees, planting perennials, or paving paths, Bittern Garden Supplies has everything you need to get the job done. From sand and soil to crushed rock and bobcat hire, Hastings, Moorooduc, and suburbs all across the Mornington Peninsula, rely on us for high-quality products and services at affordable rates. Call us today on 5983 9779 or contact us online now.