Why do we prune trees and what is pruning?
Like the English language there are rules to pruning trees but then there are always exceptions to those rules. Frustrating innit? You think you know what to do but then find out it’s completely wrong! Most people know that Pruning trees is good practice, cutting back to aerate, to bring on a burst of new growth by cutting out the old. But there are certain things to remember when doing this:
1. Don’t cut back too hard – this is harmful to the tree as it often loses its natural shape and throws out ‘panic growth’ thinking it’s going to die
2. Cut the tree at the correct time of the year – most are cut during the winter months when the majority of trees are dormant (sleepy trees). But as usual, there are a few that are sensitive to winter pruning – cherries and magnolias for example
3. Pruning trees needs to be done in the right way. And what is the right way? I hear you shout. Contact me and I’ll come and show you…
Why is pruning trees necessary?
There are a number of answers. Can you imagine never cutting your hair or nails? Mmm, nice… And if you venture into natural woods and forests, you’ll see many trees have toppled over or branches are hanging off, and some struggle for light. Unmanaged, majestic trees can look forlorn and tragic. By pruning and careful management, trees will not only look fantastic, they will be healthy, bring a smile to your face and provide an array of advantages to wildlife and the environment. That should make you feel good. Caring for your trees means you are taking responsibility for them, demonstrating that you care about where you live – and that’s important; healthy trees usually means a healthy neighbourhood.
Pruning fruit trees is a whole different ball game…and a bit complicated if you don’t know what you’re doing. Fruit trees are pretty. I like fruit trees. They give blossom, lovely aromas that fill the gardens and streets, provide food for bees (which in turn makes my porridge taste good), produce fruit, and finally, their owners talk about these trees as having fascinating histories and characters. It’s as though they are part of the family!