There may be hundreds of trees each year that begin their journey healthy and vibrant, but end up showing signs of failing health and sadly, death. There are many different causes for this, but a common one is improper tree trimming. Not only does it have the potential to cause death in your tree, but you yourself could end up in the hospital with serious injuries, or worse, if you do not have all of the information that you need before you begin. There are several things to consider before picking up your hand pruners, lopping saw or chain saw.
A couple of primary reasons that a tree may need some additional tender loving care are that it is diseased or dying, or that it has been damaged in some way due to an unexpected weather event such as a severe storm with high winds or hail. If you are in a situation where having to prune or trim your tree is a must, then please be sure that you have researched thoroughly what tools and processes to follow. If you are unsure whether or not you will damage or kill your tree, then do not hesitate to contact a local professional in your area. Often times they will be able to provide you with a free quote for their services and if you have a tree that has particular sentimental value to you or your family, then the cost of hiring a professional is well worth it.
If you have done all of the appropriate research and decide that you are going to go ahead and perform the trimming yourself, then make sure that you have the right tools for the job. You need different saws or trimmers depending upon the size of the tree that you will be working on. For instance, if you have a branch that is medium sized (between 4 cm and 10.5 cm in diameter) then lopping shears or a small pruning saw would be appropriate. If, however, you are dealing with a branch that is over 10.5 cm in diameter, then a chain saw would be needed. This is extremely important as using the incorrect implement can cause serious damage or death to both you and the tree.
Some additional points to consider before you begin are that you may be able to help your tree in the event it is injured, without having to do any cutting. Fertilizing your tree before a freeze may help injured, but otherwise healthy, trees. If you determine that you need to saw, or if that is the course of action that has been recommended by a local gardening or landscape professional, then performing the tree trimming while the tree is dormant may help the recovery outcome.
In the end, tree trimming can cause death, but it can also maintain life when performed under the right circumstances.
Good luck and happy gardening!