Should I trim lower branches on a young tree? It’s a question often asked by homeowners, and according to Knoxville’s tree trimming experts, the answer is yes! As a tree develops, it offers the best way to create the structure you want for your tree’s health and beauty at a young age. Doing so makes pruning easier and ensures that your tree remains healthy, structurally sound, and aesthetically pleasing.
Corrective prunings on a young tree mimic how the tree would grow in a forest, limiting structurally damaging co-dominant branches and dangerous lower branches.
When Should I Prune the Lower Tree Branches?
After the first year or two, you can begin corrective pruning on your young tree. For proper plant health, you must leave the lower limbs attached for the first couple of years. These tree branches provide sustenance and lessen the impact of transplanting.
Once the tree establishes itself, you can remove a temporary branch or a branch left to improve tree health at a young age. Remove 20% of a tree’s leaves a year maximum to mitigate damage to the tree.
Trees do not heal; they grow over a wound to prevent infection. When you cut too much in a given year, you risk your tree catching pest infestations, diseases, and fungal infections. Taking 20% or less lets the tree grow over its wounds and prepare for the next year easily.
How Should I Prune My Tree?
“Should I trim lower branches on a young tree?” You know the answer is a resounding yes; you may not know how to do it. If you feel uncomfortable removing tree branches alone, or the branches are large, high up, or difficult to reach, contact a professional.
Tree branch removal can prove dangerous and challenging without the proper expertise, tools, and training. Do not put yourself or your property at risk—request help if needed. However, you can do this task yourself with smaller and lower limbs.
For proper pruning, follow these steps:
- Ensure all your tools are sharp and effective to mitigate damage
- Only cut limbs that measure a half-inch or less in diameter
- Use a swift thorough cut and ensure the limb will fall safely
- Cut above the branch collar to protect the tree
Remember that each cut requires precision, and you should not cut without a plan. Improper pruning can harm your trees in the following ways:
- Poor structure
- Weakened immune system
- Poor appearance
- Tree or limb death
Take note of which branches you want permanent; a permanent branch does not receive corrective pruning and requires spacing of 3% of the tree’s maximum height. Permanent branches give the tree structure, balance, and integrity, so it withstands winds, storms, and more.
Plan out your pruning before you begin for optimal effects.
Contact Our Team
Have more questions about tree pruning or similar topics like “should I trim lower branches on a young tree?” Then contact Pro Tree of Knoxville at 865-294-0062 and request a consultation in Knoxville, TN, today!