Trimming Trees Safely and Properly
As winter ends, it’s the perfect time to set your sights on any annoying tree limbs you postponed trimming last fall. Whether they’re starting to poke into power lines or tip-toe over your property line, the best time to trim them down to size is late Winter.
However, like many people you may not start to think about doing yard work until the weather breaks in the beginning of spring. Naturally, there are no leaves in the way, which makes the work much cleaner and the clippings much neater. In late winter trees and plants are dormant, so removing outlying branches does minimal damage to the tree’s health as a whole.
Now, you could hire an experienced landscaper or arborist to do the trimming for you, but odds are you aren’t reading up on the subject just so you can pay someone else to do it. If you’re researching the do it yourself route, the first piece of equipment you’ll want is an aerial lift, which can be rented from a number of construction equipment rental sources. This can come in a few forms – some lifts are mounted on a truck, also called bucket lifts, while others are self-propelled. The truck mounted lifts are usually more stout and can generally extend to greater heights, so verify what piece of equipment best matches your needs before investing in a rental.
So you have a boom lift and you’re staring eye to eye with your lumber challenge…it’s time to use your rental equipment and trim your tree. You might think that you can just go crazy with a chainsaw and be done with it, but to protect your health and the health of the tree, trimming must be done in a precise and calculated way. The goal is to protect the trunk of the tree – any damage to this can critically damage the tree. For any limb you want to trim from the tree, locate the “stem collar.” Basically, near the area where every branch meets the trunk, there’s a lip of tissue called the stem collar that grows out and makes a little ridge. Any cutting you do needs to be on the branch side of this collar. Cutting in this way will allow the tree to heal the cut quickly.
Once you’ve located the stem collar, a simple three-step cutting procedure will ensure that you get a clean cut and prevent cracks from traveling back to the trunk. First, cut a small, triangle-shaped notch from the underside of the branch just outside the stem collar. Then, move down the branch a little and cut through the branch from top to bottom. The notch you cut first will prevent any cracks or fractures from running down the entire branch to the trunk. Once the branch has been trimmed, cut the remaining stub as close to the stem collar as you safely can. Simply repeat this process for all offending branches and presto, your wooden friend will look much more presentable.
Rent It Today is a great place to locate construction equipment rental and tool rentals available for contractors, construction companies, landscapers, and people working on lawn, gardening, & home improvement projects.
Never forget: Safety first! Always survey your job site for any potential hazards, especially overhead wires of any kind.