How to Safely Prune Your Tree in Time for Painting Season

There are usually three main priorities when pruning trees: preserving and nurturing the health of your trees, protecting yourself and your home, and tidying up your outdoor areas for spring and summer. Timing is a big aspect of tree pruning because most trees should only be cut in spring and fall, before insects and disease can take advantage of vulnerable trees in the summer, and before the tree goes into its rest cycle in the winter.

As we approach summer, or as professional painters like to call “painting season,” keep these tree pruning tips in mind when you’re sprucing (pun intended) up your exterior.

Look for dead, damaged, or diseased limbs

Before you get your tree pruner, ask yourself why you’re pruning your tree. If you want to open up a part of your yard to the sunshine, the tree is encroaching on your house, or you simply want to give it a makeover, you’ll approach the task differently than if you’re pruning the tree solely for its health.

First, to help you find the answer to ‘why?’, inspect your tree. If you see many bare limbs and boughs that appear to have nothing growing on them anymore, focus on them first. Dead limbs can fall off or be blown off much easier in the next thunderstorm than living limbs. Also, by removing a diseased limb, you’re helping the tree conserve its energy for its healthy areas, and of course by cutting away some of the affliction itself.

Get the right equipment before you cut

This is why you need to know the reasons for your pruning project. To cut smaller, diseased limbs closer to the ground, you won’t need an extending tree pruner, for example. Instead, you’ll need to dip your blade in a bleach solution before each cut, to help stop the spread of disease or insect infestation to other areas.

For the higher limbs that might be leaning too far over your roof for comfort, for example, you’ll need a specialized tree pruner, which is essentially a sharp blade on a long pole. Chances are, you’ll need a combination of sharp blades and implements to get the job done. Assemble all the implements you’ll need before you start your project to avoid trying to do a job with the wrong tool, which can lead to unnecessary damage to your tree and worse.

Removing large branches

A three-step guide to removing large branches:

  1. Make a shallow cut about five inches away from the trunk on the underside of the branch. This will prevent the bark from peeling away from the trunk when the branch falls.
  2. Cut the branch off about three inches out from the first shallow cut.
  3. Cut stub off just outside the branch collar: the swollen area near where the branch and the trunk meet. If you cut the stub off too far from the trunk, you’re creating an entry point for harmful insects, too close to the trunk and the tree will struggle to heal its wound.

For more tips on how to trim trees and prepare your home for painting season, contact Ireland’s Finest Painters at 303-512-8777


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