Tall evergreen conifers can provide year-round shade and beauty in your landscaping, but they do come with a challenge. Often the lower limbs grow nearly to the ground, impeding traffic. Weak and unbalanced growth can also be a concern, as the top begins to shade out the bottom of the tree. Fortunately, a tree trimming professional has a few handy techniques to address these challenges.
1. Limb Up
Limbing up is a tree trimmers phrase for removing the lower limbs on a tree to effectively raise the canopy. the lower branches are cut off nearly flush to the trunk, increasing the trunk length. How much the tree can be limbed up mainly depends on the size of the tree, as enough canopy must be left to support the rest of the tree. If extensive limbing up is needed, your trimmer may recommend doing it over several years to reduce shock to the tree.
2. Shape the Top
Careful trimming to maintain the even conical shape of the tree's top can help with the shading out issue below. Trees that have a natural conical shape, like many spruces and firs, can be lightly pruned regularly so the lower branches are longer than the upper branches and thus able to receive ample sun for full needle production. The trick is to do this annually, as one cannot cut back into the bare interior of the branches as the tree will end up with bare spots. Cuts cannot be made beyond the first course of needles, closest to the trunk, on any branch if you want the branch to continue producing needles. Branches cut back too far must be removed completely or a bare nub will stick out of the foliage.
3. Thin and Balance
Once the basic shape and clearance have been created with proper trimming, your pruner may recommend thinning and balancing the tree. Conifers will sometimes put on thicker growth on one side, perhaps due to wind or sun exposure. Thinning out the thicker side leads to a better balanced and more attractive tree. Further, even weight on the trunk is safer, as a badly balanced tree may be more prone to blowing down under its own weight. Your pruner may also thin out other parts of the tree to allow more sunlight and air circulation through the dense needled canopy.
Contact a company like Git-R-Down Tree Service LLC to learn more.