Trees can be a beautiful part of any landscape—from residential homes and commercial buildings to green spaces and parks, trees offer shade, beauty, and natural habitats for birds and animals. But even the most beautiful and healthy trees need care from time to time.
Whether it’s pruning for overgrown branches, deadwooding ugly dead or dying branches, crown lifting to allow for walking underneath, or routine pest and disease inspections, hiring a good local tree care service is the best way to keep your trees beautiful, healthy, and safe. Tree care professionals and arborists have the education, training, and experience to identify problems and solve them. And they know how to prune and thin trees without exposing them to additional risks like disease or damage.
Learn about some of the most common tree care services below.
Tree pruning and trimming
Healthy trees often require pruning and trimming. These services maintain tree health by removing dead and dying branches, and they keep people and property safe by preventing branches from falling and trees from damaging homes by rubbing or dropping limbs. Trimmed and pruned trees tend to be more beautiful, safe, and healthy than unmaintained trees.
Pruning is the process or removing hazardous, ugly, or unwanted branches and limbs from trees. Trimming is a term most often applied to shrubs and hedges, but it can also apply to trees when referring to keeping the edges looking clean and aesthetically pleasing. Trimming is most common for decorative trees and small trees that grow near homes or in ornamental gardens. Trimming can promote healthy growth, remove small shoots and branches that don’t contribute to the overall appearance of the tree, or remove shoots and branches that are starting to grow in the wrong direction before they get too large and need to be pruned.
Tree topping or heading
Many tree trimming experts and arborists do not advocate topping or heading trees. This is the removal of the entire top of a tree or a large section of the upper crown. While topping can shorten the tree and make it less of a hazard for utility lines, it’s a dangerous and damaging way to prune a tree. Tree topping services usually indiscriminately lop off major portions of the tree crown without choosing which branches should stay or go. This can leave remaining limbs susceptible to sunburn, disease, pest infestations, wounds that won’t heal, decay, and possible death of the entire tree. Existing limbs can become weak or die, and that can allow them to fall from the tree and endanger people and buildings. Even if the tree survives, it will likely be deformed and never as beautiful as it was before it was headed.
The task of removing dead, dying, infested, damaged, and diseased sections from trees is known as deadwooding. This keeps trees healthier by removing damaged, sick, or dead limbs and branches that can invite pests, spread disease, or choke out healthy new growth. It’s also a safer scenario for people and buildings near trees, since it removes dead and dying limbs that may otherwise fall and damage buildings or pose a safety risk to people and pets. Deadwooding must be done in a specific way to preserve the health of the tree, so it’s best to hire a professional for this task.
The crown, or uppermost section of a tree, can become overly full and heavy. This can result in them brushing against buildings or other trees, blocking paths or driveways, interfering with power lines and utilities, and even becoming a danger to the tree itself if it becomes top-heavy. Crown lifting is the process of trimming the crown of the tree by removing low-hanging branches to increase the space between the ground and the bottom remaining branches. This creates more air circulation and light under the tree, enabling grass and plant growth, room for people and animals to move freely, and a more open appearance. Crown lifting should be done carefully so as not to remove too many lower branches and endanger the tree by exposing it to possible sunburn, pests, decay, and other problems.
Although it is sometimes confused with tree topping or heading, crown reduction is the careful pruning of a tree’s crown to reduce the height and spread of the tree. Good tree trimmers and arborists will carefully choose which limbs and branches to prune, removing those that are too large or heavy, broken, damaged, or beyond the borders of the tree’s most pleasing shape. By removing a few select branches and limbs, crown reduction can help trees weather storms, prevent interaction with power lines and buildings, and keep trees smaller and more beautifully shaped.
Tree stabilizing, staking, and anchoring
Young trees, trees that have become damaged, or those that have begun to lean or divide at junctures can benefit from tree stabilization, staking, and anchoring techniques. Trees can be stabilized or staked at the trunk, keeping them upright against wind and weather. Most trees are staked for only a short time until they have grown strong enough to support themselves. Trees that are spreading to far, have leaning limbs or dual trunks, or otherwise aren’t as stable as they should be can be staked, stabilized, or anchored using arborist techniques that consider the health and longevity of the trees.
Tree pest control and disease management
Trees are susceptible to pests and diseases, and good tree companies can help prevent and treat both. Tree pest and disease inspections, careful pruning, beneficial insect addition, organic and natural tree fertilizers, and tree disease treatment are all services provided by local tree care companies. The number one thing you can do to keep your trees healthy is insist on healthy tree care techniques performed by expert tree services and keep an eye out for potential damage, disease, or pests. Proactive treatment is always best.
When trees become sick, unsteady, overgrown, or dangerous because they’ve died or are dying, tree removal may be the best option. This service includes a tree contractor carefully cutting portions of the tree in a safe manner, removing those sections, and eventually removing or grinding down the remaining stump.
Tree moving or relocating
Sometimes trees that are healthy but in the wrong location can be moved. This service can be expensive and hard or impossible for very large trees, but smaller trees and ornamental varieties can be saved and transplanted elsewhere.
Emergency tree services
After a powerful storm or heavy wind or snow, trees can be left damaged and broken. Even healthy trees can experience broken limbs and hazardous hanging branches under the wrong circumstances. Likewise, tree pests, disease, or other damage can require a tree contractor to come and remove dangerous limbs or even entire trees if they threaten structures, roads, power lines, walkways, or the safety of people and animals. Emergency tree services are often able to assess the situation, confirm whether the entire tree or just a portion of it is the problem, and then remove the limbs or sections of the tree that have been damaged. Many good tree care contractors offer 24/7 emergency tree services for residential and commercial clients.