tree service melbourne

The Importance of Pruning Trees in Your Yard

Trees are a great addition to any yard. They provide shade and beauty, but they also need care from time to time. One of the most important things that you can do for your trees is pruning them. 

Pruning helps keep the tree healthy and strong by promoting better airflow, reducing the risk of disease, removing broken or dead branches and helping with pollination in flowering trees such as fruit trees. 

The best time to prune your tree is during the dormant season when it’s not growing, which will help reduce stress on the plant.

I will be sharing my tips on how to prune trees in your yard properly. I am a certified arborist and have years of experience with this, so you can trust me that these tips are the right way to do it. 

Pruning is important for ensuring your tree’s health, but there are some things you need to know before doing it yourself! Let’s get started! 

Reasons to Prune Lower Branches Trees

A big reason to limb up trees is for aesthetic purposes. A shapely tree looks a lot nicer than a tree that has been left unattended. Also, we regularly trim our hair…why not our trees?

Another very important reason to limb up trees is to allow more sunlight to reach the ground. In woodland areas, you won’t need to do this, however, in areas where your plants are looking leggy, or you are trying to grow grass, or if certain shrubs just are not flowering like they should, you’ll need to see what you can do to bring more light to the ground. So short of cutting the trees down, limbing up is the next best thing.

These reasons made me think about the trees on our property and how many of them looked overgrown and unkempt.

In general, pruning a tree when it is dormant is recommended if there are large branches to remove; that is, pruning between the time the leaves fall from the tree in the fall and the time the buds swell in the spring. 

However, pruning for safety reasons or minor pruning may also be done in the summer. In fact, some shrubs and spring flowering trees are best pruned immediately the following flowering in the spring.

As I said, pruning for safety reasons should be done now! The safety of your children is more important than the tree. If, for safety reasons, you must do the pruning in the summer, do it. 

If you can delay, delay as long as the construction progresses — the later in the summer that you prune, the less impact you have on the tree but, if it must be done today, do it today. Prune as much as is needed to ensure the safety of your children. If more pruning is necessary later, then delay that until winter when the tree is dormant.

It sounds like the tree is relatively healthy, so the pruning should not be extremely damaging to the tree. However, you can’t prune without influencing the tree, and some of that influence is negative. 

Regarding the use of pruning paints – we do not recommend pruning paints. However, we do recommend that you prune properly. If proper pruning cuts are made, the effect on the tree is minimised. 

Limbing Up Weeping Cherry Trees

Limbing up the lower branches of the trees will allow more light to the grass and gives them a shapely appearance. Notice the dead grass in front of the fence? Now that the limbs have been removed, new grass will begin to grow in that area.

Our cherry trees typically produce real cherries during the summer, but not this year. I believe the overgrowth caused a lack of circulation and prevented the trees from producing this yummy fruit. Now that we have removed many of the lower hanging branches, I hope they will bloom beautifully next Spring and produce hundreds of fresh cherries next summer.

River Birch Trees

green-tree

River Birch trees are known for their graceful drooping limbs, foliage, and beautiful peeling bark. However, they can also grow to over 50 feet tall, and like most trees, they need TLC.

This picture from our front yard shows a cluster of River Birch trees in the background. The limbs are so long, they are nearly touching the ground. Their beautiful peeling bark is not visible due to the long branches covering the trunks. River Birch trees also tend to lose small branches and branchlets during windstorms. I am constantly picking up small branches on the lawn that have fallen from the tree.

Best Time of Year to Prune River Birch Trees

Unlike other trees that should be pruned in late Fall to early Spring, the River Birch tree  has a different timeline.

If pruned too early in the year, they bleed a heavy flow of sap when awakening from their winter rest. Therefore, the best time to prune River Birch trees is late summer or early Fall. However, we will avoid sap flows and the egg-laying season for most insects that infest pruning wounds by pruning at the proper time. 

These insects cause unsightly damage, and they can spread serious diseases and kill trees. However, we can reduce the risk of attack by pruning after their early summer flying season.

Limbing up and removing low hanging branches from the River Birch treess opened the space immensely. We can now enjoy the beautiful trunks of the trees and pretty peeling bark.

Reasons to Prune River Birch Trees

Other reasons to prune River Birch Trees include

  • Remove dead, diseased and injured branches.
  • Branches that rub together allow entry points for insects and disease, one of the branches should be removed.
  • Branches that grow nearly straight up have weak attachments to the trunk. Taking them down while they are small will prevent them from breaking off later.
  • Remove a branch that is too close to another branch, this is best done when the tree is young.
  • Remove branches that are too close to the ground to make landscaping easier and allow for a more comfortable shade.

Tree Pruning Cost by Tree Size

Small tree: 1 – 1.5 stories high.

Cost: $250 – $350

Anything smaller than 1 story or 5m high can be managed by a gardener. But if it is a little larger 1 – 1.5 stories high, you will need an arborist. It will be somewhere between $250 – $350

Medium tree: 2 stories high +.

Cost: $350 – $550

This size of trees will end up being a little more depending on the work being done. Cutting lower branches for a canopy list will be less expensive than canopy thinning, for example, as there is less time spent climbing. The price range would be between $350 – $550.

Large tree: 3 Stories + high

Cost: $600 – $1,000

Like with the other size trees, it is really going to depend on the particular species being pruned and the specific working being done. If the tree is an odd shape and has a very dense canopy, it will take longer to trim. Generally speaking, you are looking at $600 – $1000 for specimens 3 – 5 stories in height.

Extra Large tree: 6 Stories + high

Cost: $900 – $1,800

There won’t be too many of you in this category. However, if you are the owner of an extra-large tree that needs some branches removed, it will obviously be fairly costly. It will depend on the size and number of the branches being removed. But, I would budget between $900 – $1800.

Should I use an arborist?

There are 2 different routes you can take when choosing a potential tree pruning service to carry out work.

A certified arborist or a lawn care/ garden maintenance contractor.

If it’s a tree no bigger than 5m (a single-story house) and the branches that need removing are no thick than your wrist, then a gardener would be your best choice. The main reason you would go with a garden care contractor over an arborist is they are much much cheaper and in less demand.

Arborists are experts in trees. You really cannot go with anyone else for medium to large size trees. They are highly skilled and have specialised in training and equipment to get your job done in a safe manner.

Yes, they are more expensive, but the extra prices carry the peace of mind as they are qualified and insured. If anything were to go wrong, you and they are completely covered.

Average Pruning Cost Per Hour

In general, tree pruning services do not charge by the hour, rather they charge by the job.

This is because professional tree services all have different numbers of staff and equipment to get the job done.

One company might take four hours to do the pruning job, where another company might only take one hour, yet they charge the same amount.

You could say the company that only took 1 hour charged 4 x on average per hour for tree trimming, but the cost is the same at the end of the day.

How Often Do You Need To Prune Trees?

How regularly trees need pruning will depend on the age of the tree and how fast it grows.

It is important to have a tree pruning maintenance program to ensure your tree’s health structural integrity. Younger trees from 1 to 5 years old will need pruning on a yearly basis to ensure a desirable shape and structure of the tree is established early.

Generally, mature trees can be pruned every 1 to 5 years again depending on the type of tree, how fast it grows in your desired outcome for the prune.

When pruning mature trees, you should never take off more than 15% per year as this is generally the rate at which the tree itself grows.

Will Homeowners Insurance Cover Tree Pruning?

In general, homeowners’ insurance will not cover the cost of tree pruning. It will depend on the type of insurance cover you have.

If there was a storm and a branch has broken off your tree, they might cover you for the cost of getting a tree service out to make the tree safe and remove any broken or fallen branches.

Homeowners’ insurance will not cover regular maintenance on your trees outside extreme circumstances such as storms and branch failures.

Is Pruning Good For Trees?

If pruning is done correctly by a professional arborist, it can be very beneficial for the overall health and vitality of the tree.

Trees have vast root systems to support and nourish the tree above ground. When you remove 10 – 15% of branches, this gives the tree a new lease on life, freeing up resources that would otherwise be used to maintain those branches. It can now put this excess energy towards healing old wounds and new growth.

Commercial farmers use tree pruning on an annual basis to increase the harvest of fruit the trees yield. From grapevines to orange trees, pruning your trees will increase your tree’s health, vigour, flowering and fruit and capabilities every time.

Why Should I Have My Tree Trimmed And How Often? 

Think of tree trimming along the same lines as getting a haircut. Maintaining a properly scheduled trim will lead to strong and sturdy growth and improve the beauty and shape of your tree.

How often a tree will need to be trimmed can vary depending on the tree’s type, size, age, and health. Generally, most mature trees need to be trimmed every 3-5 years, while a younger tree will need it every 2-3 years. 

Likewise, a fruit tree should be pruned yearly, while some evergreens can go many years without needing a single cut. Our certified arborist will help determine the best schedule for your trees.

Trimming/Pruning your trees on a routine basis will

  • Allow a young tree to mature into a strong and sturdy tree
  • Maintain the natural shape and beauty of the tree
  • Thin-out and reduce the weight of a dense canopy
  • Provide more food and water by eliminating excessive and/or competing branches
  • Increase the airflow through the tree
  • Allow more sunlight to get through the tree
  • Protect your property by pruning branches up and away from structures
  • Eliminate weak branches
  • Increase the size and quantity of fruit on a fruit tree
  • Extend the health and life of your tree

What to Do When Your Tree Is Dying

healthy-trees

The trees and plants in the surroundings are living things that need to be taken care of. The trees and plants provide a lot of benefits not only to mother earth but also to us, human beings. Trees add life as well as color to the environment.

For some, trees can be a great addition to enhance your garden and home facade. Thus, in this article, I am going to share with you six efficient tips on how to save a dying tree in your backyard.

For some, trees can be a great addition to enhance your garden and home facade. Thus, in this article, I am going to share with you six efficient tips on how to save a dying tree in your backyard.

Identify The Signs Of A Dying Tree

Not all people can classify a dying tree from an already dead tree. They are completely two different things. The confusion starts because both look lifeless, dried up, and without any trace of green leaves. So, before you go ahead and save a dying tree, know first if it is dying or already dead. Nourishing a dead tree back to life would be pointless and time-consuming.

A dying tree may have the following signs

  • Bent structure – The tree is not upright because the root is losing its strength.
  • Cracks – There is a continuous crack on the trunk of the tree.
  • Decay – There are fungi or mushrooms on the surface of the tree.
  • Dried Up Wood – Extreme dryness is a sign of a dying tree. The branches look lifeless and can easily crack when you put pressure in it.
  • Light to No Leaves – Dying trees often have fewer leaves than healthy trees. Leaves can be found in a few branches.

Identifying The Problem

Since you already know the signs of a dying tree, the next thing you need to do is to determine the cause of why it is dying. Determining the exact cause is quite tricky; hence, you might need to consult an arborist for proper guidance. This will increase the chance of saving your tree.

Correct Watering Issues

Moisture issues are commonly the reasons why a tree is prone to dying. Mature trees can be adversely affected by too much or too little water. Dehydration can kill all living beings – humans, animals, and trees. To ensure your trees grow healthy and sturdy, make sure that they are properly nourished. 

You have to check and make sure that the area where the tree is located has a good drainage system. Then, using your garden hose, set it on high stream and water the tree from 0.5 to 2 minutes. Control the nozzle and avoid drowning the soil with too much water if you do not have enough time to water the tree, set up an automated sprinklers instead.

Proper Mulching Technique

How does using a mulch save a tree? Mulching is one way to nourish the soil surrounding your tree. However, when not done correctly, it can be harmful to the trees. Be sure not to put too much mulch around the base. 

Just place enough mulch to allow the roots to breathe. Next, dig the ground so that the mulch has direct contact with the roots. Make it at least 5 inches deep. Then, using your rake, spread the mulch, only apply 1.5 inches of mulch. In doing so, it helps prevent a host of other tree problems like bacteria and fungi infections.

Use Fertilizers Accordingly

Fertilisers are another item that can help your dilemma on how to save a dying tree. When using fertilisers, avoid sprinkling or spraying them too much on the trees. Before jumping to the conclusion that a sick or dying tree needs fertiliser, test the soil first to make sure you are saving the tree and correcting the problem. 

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to get the full benefits of the fertilisers. When you are unsure, consult it first with an arborist. Perhaps, it is not the soil nourishment that causes your tree to die. Instead, there could be other factors involved, like pests or dehydration.

Proper Pruning Technique

If you want to learn how to save a dying tree, it is helpful to research appropriate pruning techniques. Know the kind of tree and the disease because there is a proper pruning for each, and it should be adjusted accordingly. 

If unhealthy areas are noticeable on a tree, correctly removing the diseased sections could save a tree’s life. Be sure to get rid of the unhealthy branches to prevent the problem from spreading. Use sanitised shears, knives, or saw to remove unwanted branches.

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