People often ask if they should prune dead tree branches. They ask because people are told not to trim their trees until winter. That confuses people, so here is a clarification on tree pruning timing.
You should prune dead weight as soon as you spot it. Once a branch has died, it hurts the rest of the tree if it remains. To keep your whole tree healthy, you must cut off the dead weight. That means that as soon as you see a dead branch, you should cut it off. The time of year does not matter.
This immediate pruning of dead weight has five distinct advantages:
- It speeds the tree’s healing process.
- It prevents the branch from falling on a person or animal which could harm them.
- It prevents the branch from falling on your home or commercial building which could damage the property.
- It improves the appearance of the tree.
- It stops insects and tree diseases from developing or spreading.
You do need to be careful when pruning dead branches because they can fall on you. When a branch remains partially alive, you can prune just the dead portion. Simply trim the branch back to the fork of the living and dead portion. Prune so that there is no stub. This allows the living part of the branch to grow and fill in the dead space.
Sometimes the branch height makes it tough to work with and cut. You can prune higher branches by standing on a ladder or by using pole pruners or pole saws. With the latter, you can reach branches up to a height of 40 feet.
Avoiding a Mess
Consider safety issues while trees remain healthy. Dead branches you ignore will fall naturally. That can create a mess and a danger. As a branch dies, its twigs break off on the smallest diameter littering the ground. What begins with small twigs, turns into a mess, so cut the dead weight as soon as you see it.
You can dispose of your dead branches by burning them. If you live in the city and ordinances ban that, check with your city trash service to determine when limb pickup is.
Safe disposal of these dead limbs requires getting them off of your property. Piles of dead limbs draw snakes and insects, creating a different type of hazard.
Hire a Professional Tree Service
Tree pruning in San Antonio is also important because when a branch breaks and falls, it can take out all the branches beneath it. It can damage the live limbs, scraping them or cracking them. That causes a larger problem. When you ignore the dead weight without cutting it off as soon as it dies, you allow it to harm the living. Removing it completely and properly disposing of it protects all of the living.