Tree trimming is an important part of property management. Trees are wonderful, and they add tremendous value when maintained appropriately.
At Top Choice, we're fully insured, and we provide annual tree trimming in Austin. We will trim just about anything that we can reach from a ladder or with a pole saw. We will not climb any trees or do any work in the living canopy. If we can't take care of a particular tree, we will help you or point you to someone who can help.
How often should we trim our trees?
First, “Know Thy Tree.” You want to trim an oak differently from a Bradford pear or a Crape Myrtle. Is this a deciduous tree or an ever green? (If you are asking what deciduous means, then we recommend stopping here and giving us a call). Is the growing season in the spring? Has the tree reached its full maturity?
Most trees will benefit from an annual trim. An annual trim generally consists of a couple of things:
- raise the canopy (remove the low hanging branches)
- remove any dead wood / damaged branches
- prune away from the house or roof
Trimming doesn't just help your trees look great, it’s also good for their health too. Tree trimming removes unhealthy growth, including dead/damaged branches, weak limbs, and crossing or rubbing branches. It also removes suckers and water sprouts, those little branches popping up all over the main trunk and the base of the tree.
If you ignore routine trimming, trees will actually self-prune. Branches will die and eventually fall out of the canopy by themselves (usually with the help of a strong storm). These results are typically less than ideal, with masses of dead wood raining out of the trees whenever a storm rolls through. The broken branches can also cause large ragged wounds in the tree that can take a long time to heal. The wounds make a great home for unwanted insects, can lead to disease or rot, and in some cases, the trees can even die.
Common issues we see include damaged limbs, safety hazards, and damage to structures. Earlier we mentioned Bradford pear trees. They are notorious for dropping large mature limbs in windstorms. We often encourage clients to remove mature (20-25 year old) Bradford pear trees or, at minimum, remove large “at risk” limbs – any limbs over a car, sidewalk or roof. When a tree is properly trimmed, the wounds are minimized. The branches are cut in a way that encourages the trees to heal cleanly. It also helps avoid damage to houses or property caused by branches flying around in the heavy wind.
Trimming also helps keep our landscape usable. We often trim up the tree canopy so we can walk or drive under the tree. Yards with a lot of trees can feel small and enclosed, but raising the canopies can open up the space and make the yard feel larger and sod installation much more doable. It will also open up the space so air can circulate freely. The air helps dry out the space, which limits mosquitoes and helps limit the spread of fungi.
Looking to do it yourself?
Best Practices Tree Trimming
Many homeowners will be able to take care of some aspects of tree trimming on their own. A few important items to consider before you embark on your own tree trimming adventure...
- Safety first! Ladder + chainsaw + inexperience = recipe for disaster. Many people get hurt on ladders. Please be careful. Don’t let the branch fall on you — or a car, or a kid, or your favorite lawn gnome.
- Don’t forget about the safety of the tree! Make sure that you take precautions to preserve the health of the tree.
- Only trim oak trees in season (July-January). Avoid trimming oaks in the spring. Spring is the danger zone for the spread of Oak Wilt, a fungal disease that can destroy your beautiful trees.
If you're looking to hire help, be thoughtful and careful. You might be tempted to take the low bid, but do your homework and ensure that the company is fully insured. This is a dangerous business and if someone falls on your property, you are putting yourself (and your contractor) at risk. Ensure they use best practices in the industry and train their team rigorously. Finally, check out their reviews to see what others say about them — reputation is key.
Protect your live oaks!
Tree Trimming and Oak Wilt
Oak Wilt is a horrible fungal disease plaguing much of Central Texas. It spreads from one tree to another, damaging and killing trees as it goes.
The best medicine for Oak Wilt is prevention. At Top Choice, we meticulously follow all tree trimming best practices to protect your trees.
- Clean and sanitize tools regularly
- Paint the wounds on oak trees to seal the pruning cut and protect the tree from outside pathogens
- Only prune oaks from July through January.
If you want additional info on Oak Wilt, then visit this site.
Get your tree trimming quote today
Simply provide your address and some other basic information to receive a fast free quote from the lawncare specialists at Top Choice Lawn Care.