It is not easy to keep up with gardening as trees and shrubs demand much work. Having the best pruning tools is only part of the battle. Because pruning correctly is another major task which calls for great consideration, many do this incorrectly. Poor or in proper care could cause severe damage. Therefore, you’ll need the best pruning shears along with time, energy, and resources to ensure your trees and shrubs are growing correctly.
Proper trimming of trees and shrubs are an extremely important part of gardening. This maintenance practice involves cutting off dead or overgrown parts of plants,trees or shrubs. It is a beneficial process because it helps plants and trees live a healthier and longer life. If not properly carried out, it could weaken them, damage their appearance, resulting in safety risks to people.
Here we have discussed some of the benefits associated with the pruning process:
- Strengthening Structure: It is important to make sure that your trees and plants live a long life. It is only possible when you trim and pay close attention to them, when required. Furthermore, if you don’t prune the overgrowth, they might uproot or break during strong winds and even under normal conditions.
- Maintenance Cost: Regular light pruning reduces maintenance costs of plants and trees, because heavy pruning and or replacement can be much more costly.
- Long Life of Trees: Due to increased strength, trees can live a very long life. More energy will go to the healthy parts of your trees and plants instead of trying to heal damaged or dead limbs.
- Improve Appearance: A crucial factor should push you to prune trees is their appearance. The overextending branches and overcrowding could consequently reduce the aesthetics of your property. When taken care of properly, trees and plants can add beauty and value to the land they grow on.
- Safety of People: Lastly, the safety of people is compromised if trees are allowed to over-extend without a thorough check. They could uproot and fall on people, cars and houses around them, resulting in severe damage and injuries.
Best Time to Prune Trees
Pruning of plants and trees is a technical process which should be carried out in certain times of the year. Usually the best period to prune your trees is the dormant season, which spans from the end of February to early days of March. Because this is the time when winter ends and spring starts. The branches of trees have little or no leaves, as a result it’s easier for you to cut the extending branches.
There are certain benefits associated with pruning during the dormant season. Some of them are listed below:
Covering of Wounds
Cutting the branches could result in exposed or opened wounds to the tree, which if remain exposed could cause several other issues. So, when you make fresh cuts, it’s best if the open wounds are covered by new growth. Especially with the arrival of spring to protect and heal the tree.
Deciding the Areas to Cut
It can be tough deciding which parts of the tree to prune. The absence of leaves may allow for better visibility. Some easy target areas on trees are intersecting branches, obvious dead wood and growth facing inward to the center of the tree. Never cut the leader and always try to keep the natural shape of the tree.
Safety from Diseases
Pruning in the dormant season can avoid many diseases. If you prune during the summer you could run into problems because the tree is at a weak point. Although many times it is either crucial or the most convenient this time of year, care should be taken. Pruning during extreme heat or when the plant is stressed out could cause further problems. That being said tree work can be done all year round if need be.
Some of the diseases and physiological problems which plants may have to go through when pruning incorrectly or during times of stress, are mentioned below:
- Oak wilt in Oak Trees: Oak trees undergo oak wilt, if they are cut during the summer season. The problem is caused by beetles which accelerate fungal problems on trees. This results in loosening of the outer skin of trees which starts falling off. You should prune oak trees at the end of winter. However, if the situation is critical, you can cut the trees during warmer months as well. Some arborists apply a covering to open wounds during summer to avoid the attack of beetles and other problems
- Stem Cankers in Soya Beans, Mulberry, and Roses: Don’t prune these plants other than dormant season because stem canker problems will emerge in them, damaging their stems. The process follows darkening of stems, ultimately leading to death.
- Fire Blight in Apples and Pears: Apples and pears face fire blight disease which involves damaging of leaves and stem of these trees if pruned during summer. To learn more about the many different tree diseases check this out.
Pruning is a simple process which involves the cutting of dead, unhealthy, or overly extended branches of trees. However, it involves some precision tools which demand certain skills to be operated. It is better to hire a professional pruner if you ever feel you are not comfortable or skilled enough to perform the work. Any uncertain situation with large branches, could lead to serious danger.
Some of the tools are discussed below, in detail along with the best rated in each category:
Best Pruning Shears
Simple pruners are small cutters which have a grip on one end and cutting face on the other. When you hold a pruner from the grip and press the sides against each other, the blades at the other end come to life, cutting the stems.
Simple pruners are small in size and are used for small plants or growing trees. These cannot be used for large branches.
- Anvil Shears: Anvil shears are simple hand cutters used for the cutting of tree branches. They can also be found in a ratcheting style, greatly reducing stress on your hands.
- Bypass Shears: Bypass shears are gardening scissors used for cutting of thick branches. Their design is unique as the cutting top cutting blade is bent towards the inside of the lower one. This makes it extremely sharp and effective. You need to apply only little pressure to cut using these.
- Lopping Shears: Lopping shears are similar to anvil shears, only these have long handles allowing you to cut branches present at heights. Also the longer handles provide great leverage.
- Hedge Shear: Hedge shears are scissors with long blades used to cut plants, trees, and shrubs. Also great for shaping shrubs.
Best Pruning Saws
Pruning saws are used for the sawing of large branches which cannot be cut using smaller shears because of the branches thickness. These are some of the types commonly used:
- Hand Saw: A blade with a grip at one end, used to manually cut extending branches of trees.
- Pole Saw: Manual or power operation. A power pole saw has a cutter at one end of the pole with a grip at the other. Just beside the grip, a small motor is mounted which runs the chainsaw style cutter. Manual style pole saws have a long rope attached to a pruner style blade, which is pulled to open and close blade. You can easily cut high branches using these extendable saws.
- Chainsaw: These are professional, heavy duty mechanical saws used to cut trees and large limbs. These should be used with extreme caution. The littlest mistake with their handling could lead to severe consequences. Lastly, extensive safety measures must always be taken when operating a chainsaw. If you are looking for valuable information on top rated chain saws saws and other pruning tools check this out..
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