Tree cutting should be intentional to ensure safety. That statement may sound strange on the surface, but it is indeed true.
Think about it: How many times have you driven somewhere and seen tree branches hanging all over the road practically begging to cause an accident? How many times have you been walking outside and either been hit or nearly hit by a piece of a tree that was sticking out? Worst of all, how many times have you seen a tree that looked wobbly and instilled legitimate fear in you that it could fall and cause untold amounts of damage?
Unfortunately, these things have most assuredly happened far too many times to count.
There are constantly dangerous scenarios that could occur if a tree, or at least a sick part of that tree, is not cut when it has potential to be hazardous, and this is something that everybody should keep in mind when it comes to tree maintenance.
The bad news is, you cannot control what everybody else does with their trees, so you are still going to encounter these situations.
The good news is that there are ways for you to avoid this when it comes to your own trees, which is why, in addition to cutting trees for aesthetic reasons, tree cutting should be intentional to ensure safety.
Properly trimmed trees help keep your neighborhood safe
Dead parts of a tree may not seem like much to you on the surface, but getting rid of them can be a great way to avoid potential hazards. These dead pieces can become dangerous for various reasons. If they fall from the tree, they can easily become tripping hazards. And even more common, it can attract mold, rot, and insects, all of which can greatly weaken the tree, causing enough damage to greatly increase the likelihood that it will need to be removed. Or even worse, that it could fall.
Cutting parts of a tree can have a positive impact on tree growth and development
Clearing out the dead weight is necessary for trees to continue to grow. New and healthy branches, as well as leaves, cannot grow until the dead material is removed, and the tree itself cannot progress without this new growth.
It also allows for the development of a healthier root system because having all the dead weight cleared out lowers the potential for diseases and pests the tree must fight off. If the tree no longer has to use its resources to protect itself, it is free to focus on strengthening its roots.
Sometimes the whole tree needs to go
Parts of the tree need to be removed when they are dead, weakened, or otherwise potentially hazardous, but what about the tree itself?
If you have a tree that is too weak or sick to survive hardship, your best bet may be to preemptively strike. We know it’s a challenging decision to remove a tree in your yard that you care about, but if that tree is at risk of collapsing, the smart move is to remove it before it beforehand.
Depending on the size of a tree, if it collapses on its own, it could do hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage or even case undue harm to people. These are not risks anybody should be taking and instead, the tree should be cut down so that it can be removed in a safe way that does not result in harm to any person or property.
Ensure tree cutting maximizes safety and minimizes damage
Obviously, it stands to reason that if you do not know what you are doing or are uncomfortable in any way, you should call a professional tree service to take care of your trees. However, if you are going to proceed with tree cutting on your own, there are a few things you need to consider as far as best practices.
First, it is almost always best to do tree cutting work while the plant is dormant. This decreases the chances of the tree contracting a disease before it has time to heal. Also, the size of the tree and its branches must be kept in mind because if dead branches are five centimeters in diameter or less, removing it is pretty safe. However, if it’s five to ten centimeters, then you may want to think twice about removal. And if it is larger than ten centimeters, your tree would be best served not touching it at all unless you have no choice.
When removing key parts of the tree, always aim for two-third crown and one-third base. Otherwise, you could cut off too much and the tree could potentially lose a lot of its nutrients. Also, some construction equipment can badly damage the above-ground portion of a tree by destroying branches, tearing bark, and wounding the trunk. As a result, it is extremely important to pick your equipment with intention and proceed with extreme caution because that type of damage can be irreversible and potentially deadly for the tree.
If you are removing a significant part of the tree, like a major branch, you should always look for the branch collar – the soft tissue from which the small branches grow – because you do not want to cut too close to it and do lasting damage to the tree.
If you cut too close to the branch collar, it could cause the tree to develop an infection or inhibit its growth. You also must be careful to cut as far away from the roots of the tree as possible. If you do not, it could badly impede the health and stability of the tree, making it especially vulnerable to, particularly during adverse weather conditions like a storm.
Ultimately, if you care for your tree with the best intentions and relinquish tasks to professionals when necessary, you can expect it to have a long and healthy life.