Tree lopping and tree removal is a common task for tree owners, especially for those who grow their trees in a limited space like their gardens. Over a year, trees can grow very fast. They can encroach on your neighbour’s property or grow across the street. It is a tree owner’s job to keep everything tidy.
If you are new to pruning or trimming trees, do not worry. There are many professional tree lopping and removal services available for you, or if you want to do it yourself, here are some basic things that you should know before you start trimming.
Know the Purpose
Tree lopping can be done for many purposes. Tree owners have a duty to observe and pay attention to their trees.
Lopping for safety – Branches can be harmful in strong winds and the rainy season. They need to be removed before falling on to pedestrians and drivers or damaging your property.
Lopping for health – Trees are like humans, they can be damaged and infected by diseases. Diseases can cause wood to rot. To prevent diseases, remove the top parts of the trees to let the air and sunlight reach their lower parts. Air and sunlight can stimulate tree growth and make them develop. A stronger tree structure can also prevent them from falling down in strong weather conditions.
Lopping for aesthetics – Over a period of time, trees can grow improperly. Shaping is needed to keep them growing in the right direction. Fully grown trees particularly do less self-pruning and so we have to be actively involved in this job to help them keep their shape.
Know Your Tree
There are tons of species of trees on this planet. Before you choose trees to plant in your property, know their shape and how to maintain them to keep your trees growing beautifully.
There are 2 main types of tree shapes; pyramidal and spherical. Pyramidal shaped trees usually have strong central stems and high lateral branches. They do not grow much horizontally. Conversely, spherically shaped trees have many lateral branches competing for dominance. These trees grow more horizontally. These types of tree are normally hardwood trees.
It is best to keep the original shapes of your trees. Unnatural growth can damage the development of them. You can avoid having to shape trees too much when they grow indiscriminately by knowing the nature of them. Choose species which can grow in your limited space.
Know Lopping Techniques
1. Crown Thinning
This technique is suitable for hardwood trees. It starts with pruning off some branches to reintroduce the light and air by choosing to cut narrow V-shaped branches and left U-shaped branches. The purpose of doing this is to maintain the development of the tree structure and to prevent too much production. The main thing to remember when using this technique is that you should not remove more than ¼ of the living crown at a time.
2. Crown raising
This technique is about clearing the bottom part of the trees to prevent blister rust and to allow pedestrians and drivers easy access around them as well as keeping the trees away from your house or property. Also for those people growing trees for timber, this technique allows you to develop clear stems ready for timbering. Remember to retain 60-70% of the crown and cut only about 30%.
3. Crown reduction
For oversized trees or trees that grow in limited space, this technique is the most suitable pruning choice. Cut the top of part of the trees that may grow up to the electric wires. This pruning technique will create large wounds on your trees. Trees with a pyramidal shape should not be cut by this technique. Or if your trees grow too far, you had better cut them down and replace them with species that can fit in your space.