As winter begins and leaves start to drop from the fall weather, most properties will be left with bare tree limbs and branches that aren’t too sightly—plus, they can be a potential hazard to those on your rental property.
A great way to remedy this problem is through regular pruning. Not only will this make your trees look more tidy, they’ll also stay healthier year round and have a longer life span.
If you’re looking to do the pruning yourself (versus hiring management to handle it), here are some tips for success:
Don’t Do a Job Too Big
If the job is too complicated or you’re feeling really unsure, let the professionals handle it. A certified arborist can get the job done sooner, safely, and correctly. Don’t shy away from investing a little to have someone handle the bigger jobs.
Create a Plan
To prune properly, you want to get rid of weak branches but keep those that maintain the tree’s natural form. Take a close look at the branches to form a plan for pruning before you start.
Make Proper Cuts
Be careful not to cut in the wrong area of the tree, as this can greatly impact the growth pattern of the tree. Use the 3-point method:
- Undercut: On the branch that needs to be removed, begin by sawing about halfway through the bottom of the limb 1-2 feet out on the branch.
- Top Cut: From the top of the limb, saw 1-2 inches farther than the undercut, then saw all the way through until you leave a stub. You’ll do this to get rid of a lot of the weight so the final cut is safe.
- Final Cut: Make the last cut to remove the stub left over. This will best help with healing.
Get Rid of Weak Branches
When you remove weak areas, it helps strength the structure of the tree. These areas can be pruned:
- diseased branches
- dead branches
- shoots that grow from the tree’s base
- water sprouts, which are latent buds on branches
Prune Slowly and Carefully
Don’t be afraid to take your time. Make some cuts, pause to step back and look at the tree, then see what else needs to be done. And be careful not to over-prune, only cutting those that clearly need it.
Avoid Electrical Lines
Safety is very important when pruning. If you have tree near electrical lines, call on a professional to do the work.