Tips for Better DIY Tree Maintenance and Tree Trimming in Santa Ana, CA

Tips for Better DIY Tree Maintenance and Tree Trimming in Santa Ana, CA

May 21, 2018

There are certain tree-related jobs you should only trust professionals to take on. This is especially true for jobs that require you to get up into the very highest parts of the tree—those types of jobs require special equipment and safety training that the vast majority of people simply do not have.

However, there are other types of tree maintenance and tree trimming in Santa Ana, CA that you can easily accomplish yourself, including pruning of smaller trees and watering your young trees. Here are a few tips to help you get the best results out of your tree pruning on your property:

  • Inspect the tree first:
    Before you begin cutting anything off of the tree, give it a quick visual inspection on all sides, from top to bottom. Be on the lookout for any branches that look like they might be ready to fall off, or branches that might be sticking out from the tree in an unsightly manner.
  • Know the 1/3 and 1/4 rules of pruning:
    You should never remove more than a quarter of a tree’s crown in a single season, and in general, you should aim to have the branches at least one third smaller than the diameter of the trunk. You should also avoid pruning up from the bottom any more than one third of the tree’s total height when working on any broadleaf deciduous trees. Whenever possible, encourage angles that are one third off the vertical, forming “2 o’clock” or “10 o’clock” angles with the tree trunk.
  • Don’t worry about painting your cuts:
    Many people are under the misconception that pruning cuts need to be painted over to prevent decay. While painting these cuts might be more aesthetically pleasing, it really doesn’t do anything to reduce or prevent decay, and that’s fine.
  • Use sharp tools:
    You should only use tools that have been properly sharpened—otherwise, you’ll be working far too hard and run the risk of injuring yourself. For young trees, use one-hand pruning sheers that have curved blades. For higher branches, use a pole pruner, but know that at a certain height you’ll need the assistance of a professional arborist.
  • Correct branch shortening:
    If you are shortening a smaller branch, make the cut close to a lateral bud or another lateral branch, favoring a bud that will ultimately produce a branch that will grow in the direction you wish it to. Make the cut as sharp and clean as possible and at a slight angle about a quarter-inch beyond the bud.
  • Seek help when needed:
    We cannot stress this final point enough. If you believe a tree trimming task will be too difficult to handle by yourself, GET PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE. It’s not worth saving the extra money to do it yourself if you are at all uncomfortable with the job. You do not want to injure yourself or damage your tree.

For more information about DIY tree trimming in Santa Ana, CA, contact the team at ArborWest today.

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