tree pruning

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Proper Tree Pruning

The key to good tree care is knowing if, why and when your trees need to be pruned. Often in the fall, tree trimmers will knock on your door telling you that your trees need to be topped because branches are too heavy or tree limbs are too close to the house and could cause damage. Be wary of these offers, as untrained professionals can damage some of the most beautiful assets in your landscape. Professional arborist, Kristen Uhrig, at Sunrise Landscape and Design says that improper cuts can result in the tree not healing properly, leading to infection or disease. She also says that improper pruning may actually encourage undesired growth such as water sprouting (shoots that grow from the trunk of the tree or tree branches).  Kristen says that the three most common reasons to prune are to eliminate a problem, stunt growth and encourage growth. To eliminate a problem such as dead branches, holes in the tree canopy or damage from nests, the best time to prune is in the cooler fall months when the trees are beginning to go dormant. This is also true if tree growth need to be stunted. A tree may need to be kept at its current height due to factors in its immediate environment such as power lines, a garden needing more sun or if the tree is interring with the growth of another tree. If the goal for pruning is to encourage growth the best time to do this is the spring when the tree is beginning to come out of its dormant season. If you should chose to prune your trees yourself make sure you know how to do it properly so you do