Branch Out Your Trimming: The Best Ways to Trim Your Trees

Trees whose branches are thinned out and growing disease-free in the proper direction are much healthier than their crowded counterparts. They can’t do it themselves, however; trees count on you for their yearly haircuts. Here’s how to trim right.

Prune to Natural Shape

When pruning, you should have an overall vision in mind. Unless you’re going for the full-on Versailles effect – in which case, let’s get your topiary on! – you want to take your cue from the tree itself. Go with its natural shape, leaving the strongest, prettiest branches, and removing everything that grows downward or back in toward the crown. If you have to raise the crown, meaning remove lower branches over a sidewalk or building, that’s okay.

Remove Dead and Dying Branches

One of the most important jobs when pruning is to get dead and dying branches out of there. These not only suck up tree resources when they’re already doomed, but they may spread a disease to other parts of the tree or other plants. Dead branches also invite predatory insects to the feast. No Bueno.

Respect the Leader

According to the University of Minnesota Extension, topping trees – or trimming the tall, straight “leader” branch that comes from the trunk – is never a good idea. It promotes suckering (sapling growth from the ground) and destroys the form of the tree. Instead, leave the tallest, most upright branch in place and remove any competing leaders. If your only option to fit a tree in a certain space (say, under an eave) is topping, you’re better off transplanting it.

Say NO to Disease

While pruning is good for trees, it’s also one of the easiest times to spread disease (oops, now we’re rhyming). That’s why it’s important to disinfect your tools. Here’s a good primer, but basically it means soaking your shears in a cleansing solution before each use and, if you’re dealing with diseased wood, between each cut.

Of course, you don’t have to trim your trees yourself. Sometimes it’s best to leave things to the experts, such as when you’re busy or you have one of those King Kong oak trees on your hands. In that case, call in the pros and leave it to us. Premier Tree Solutions, based in Atlanta, can help with pruning as well as storm cleanup, tree removal, stump grinding, and more. All you have to do is give a shout at 404-252-6448 or contact us here.

Tree-t Yourself: Plan a Visit to the Seven Best National Parks for Trees

Everyone loves a good stint in nature, and while you may not think about it while you’re enjoying the view, trees are among the most soul-satisfying wilderness sights. If you’d like to get more out of your next national park trip, here are seven of the best destinations for arboreal aficionados.

  1. Sequoia National Park, California

You’ve no doubt heard of Redwood National Park (and its state park cousin), but did you know sequoias give redwoods a run for their money in the awesome department? Yup. Sequoia National Park, in fact, is home not only to the world’s biggest tree species but flat-out the world’s biggest tree: General Sherman.

  1. Great Basin National Park, Nevada

The bristlecone pine is a tree that demands respect, growing onto weathered surfaces with gnarly persistence and living to many thousands of years. Head to Great Basin National Park for some of the country’s best specimens.

  1. Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona

Okay, we didn’t say the trees had to be living, now did we? Gotcha! Petrified Forest National Park is full of fossilized trees, not to mention scary Phytosaur remains (think monster crocodile) and stunning badlands vistas.

  1. Congaree National Preserve, South Carolina

Sure, you can hike through a forest, but how often do you get to canoe through one? In Congaree National Preserve, the trees are extremely water tolerant, growing right out of the swamp. That means while viewing these trees, you can rest your legs and work those arms instead.

  1. Olympic National Park, Washington

Knowing for its soaring, ancient trees, Olympic National Park is a true wonder to behold. As well as being home to the largest known examples of Sitka spruce, Western red cedar, and hemlock, it also houses a huge collection of temperate rainforest flora and fauna.

  1. Everglades National Park, Florida

Okay, so we lied. Canoeing through a forest isn’t actually that rare because you can do it in the Everglades too. Check out the famous mangroves, whose roots grow right into the water, and which form a major barrier against inclement weather. Lucky Florida!

  1. Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii

This huge park, located on the big island, encompasses an active crater, beaches, and miles of forest. You can hike along jewel-green cliff sides and traipse through soaring forests, the floors of which are relatively clear of other plants, offering unobstructed views of banyans and other tropical trees.

See? No need to wonder … next time you’re planning a national park vacation, make sure it’s a truly tree-tastic one.

Premier Tree offers tree removal and trimming, pruning and storm cleanup, branch clearing and debris removal, and many other services needed to maintain a beautiful yard. Give us a call today at 404-252-6448 or contact us here.