Tree Trimming should result in healthier trees, not ER visits for the homeowner.
Homeowners across the Denver metro area are armed with ladders, chainsaws, pruning shears, and ropes with ‘that one branch’ on their mind for Sunday afternoon. How hard can it be to take off that one branch, right?
We get it: you probably think you can, and probably can do a lot of our jobs. So, why do you need an arborist? Because our expertise can make all the difference between “Honey… you killed our tree,” and “Honey, look at our beautiful tree!”
If you’re the average dude, you want to feel the shake of a chainsaw in your shoulders. You want to see the chips fly. That iconic “BRARR!” of a Husqvarna 20-incher is enough to make the six-year-old inside you grin with delight.
Until you drop your elm tree through your brand-new Expedition in your driveway.
Tree trimming is more than a chainsaw and a free afternoon for the weekend warrior. It’s an art and science, and your trees (and car) deserve the expert touch an arborist can provide through tree trimming service. Whether you’re in Littleton or Lone Tree, Parker or Highlands Ranch, you need to know what tree trimming you may be able to tackle on your own, and which jobs require a professional.
We’re not saying you can’t do tree trimming (why own a chainsaw if you’re not going to use it?), but there’s a reason why our team at Fielding Tree & Shrub Care carries significant liability insurance. It’s because tree trimming and tree removal are dangerous jobs.
How do we know? Because we’ve seen what happens when a tree trimming job goes bad. That’s how accidents happen, and it’s not just accidents that result in harm for homeowners. Trimming trees without the proper technique and tools can do irreparable harm to your trees.
So, what do you need to know about tree trimming as a homeowner in Denver? That’s why we’re here: we want to share ‘all things tree trimming’ with you so you can know what equipment we recommend, what techniques are best to keep in mind, and which jobs are best left to your friendly neighborhood arborist (that would be us!).
If you’re a homeowner in Denver, you may have several questions about how to trim your trees, such as:
- How do I know if my tree needs trimming?
- What’s the right type of ladder to use for tree trimming?
- What type of safety equipment do I need to use with tree trimming?
- How do I prepare my property for tree trimming?
- How does Fielding Tree & Shrub Care do tree trimming?
Here’s our disclosure: any of the information contained in this article or on our website is purely informational. Every property is unique to the placement, development, and overall health condition of the trees on its property. Any reader who attempts to care for their trees using this information is assuming the full risk and liability for their actions.
That being said, let’s get started…
How to Determine If Your Trees Need Trimming
Trimming in spring and fall is great for mature trees because that will heal faster after pruning. Summer is great for tree removals and light pruning. As a rule of thumb, it’s best not to trim your trees during the late spring and summer months. Trimming your trees during their growing or pre-hibernation seasons can shortcut their vascular system and cause extensive damage.
This principle is especially true when it comes to fruit trees. It’s essential to trim fruit trees only during the winter dormant season, especially those in the Rosaceae family because they are susceptible to contracting fire blight.
Trees grow in all shapes and sizes, so how do you know your tree is growing the right way? By understanding the shapes, directions, and importance of each branch as it relates to your tree’s overall growth. There are several factors to consider when inspecting your tree before trimming.
If your tree is growing near any type of hazardous situation, such as near power lines, do not attempt to trim your tree yourself. Contact our Fielding Tree & Shrub Care team so our team of trained professionals can work with your local utility providers to safely and effectively remove overgrowth.
If your tree is showing signs of abnormal growth (growing far more on one side of the tree compared to the other side), you may want to trim your tree to match the growth rate of the shorter side. Abnormal growth on trees could be a sign of damage or trauma to a tree from weather or an infestation. Branches that grow from a weakened area may be susceptible to breakage, which is a significant safety concern to consider.
A certified arborist can also help you identify the main cause behind the abnormal growth in any of your trees. Our complimentary on-site estimate is designed to give you peace of mind as a homeowner to know your trees are healthier than just on the surface.
Crossing branches and deepening cracks in the bark can also be signs your tree needs trimming. Branches that touch can easily start rubbing off the bark at the contact points. This leaves the tree vulnerable to wood rot, disease, and eventually, the death of the tree if left untrimmed.
Preparing Your Property for Tree Trimming
If your tree needs trimming, you will want to clear the area of any debris or unnecessary objects in the immediate vicinity. Whether you’re the one trimming your tree or our Fielding Tree & Shrub Care team, a clean, smooth surface is the best approach, as much as possible. Of course, we recognize not every property will have the luxury of space and level ground, so you may want to share your concerns with our arborists to create a good plan of action for everyone’s safety.
If a recent storm or flooding left a significant amount of water, the ground around your tree may be much softer than normal. This can expose surface-level roots that are easy to trip over and can be a nuisance for ladders. Take a thorough walk around the base of your tree to make note of any roots or big rocks that may get in the way.
During your walk-through, you may want to test the strength of your tree’s trunk by giving it a firm push. If there’s any structural weakness, your tree may be compromised and in need of removal. Make note of any unusual signs or details you notice as you inspect your tree. If a recent storm moved through the area, branches may be broken, roots exposed, or the bark may be displaced. In each of these three cases, your tree may be at heightened risk of contracting a serious, life-threatening disease.
Recommended Safety Equipment for Tree Trimming
Whether you’re using a chainsaw or trimming shears, we highly recommend proper safety wear in the form of sturdy work clothes in good condition, proper eyewear, and a hard hat if working with larger branches. You don’t need us to explain the purpose of each piece of recommended safety wear, but a brief refresher on safety wear is always a good idea.
Safety glasses will help prevent flying debris, such as broken branches and leaves, from causing damage to your eyes. Sturdy work gloves will help protect your hands and arms from scrapes and scratches.
If you’re trimming a section of a tree above your reach, you will want to carefully consider what type of ladder to use. A lean-to ladder doesn’t afford nearly the same level of stability as a standard A-frame ladder. As always, it’s wise to consider the different situations you may encounter while trimming your tree, especially if you’re standing on a ladder. As one example, if your ladder tips over, what’s the direction you want to jump to avoid injury as much as possible?
Wearing a safety harness is highly recommended if you’re trimming an area more than eight feet off the ground. Be careful to choose a solid anchoring point that leaves you free of unnecessary risk with your cable or cord should you fall.
Why Tree Trimming Jobs Are Best Left to Professional Arborists
For many homeowners, typically dudes, there comes a time when they realize, “I should call a professional to do this.” From replacing your roof to standing ankle-deep in a backed-up basement bathroom, there’s a reason why service teams like ours exist. It’s no different when it comes to trimming trees. Every year close to 200 serious or fatal accidents occur during tree maintenance across the U.S. While this is a sobering statistic, a majority of these accidents happen because an untrained amateur was not following proper technique or safety procedures.
That’s where we can serve you. Our team of highly trained arborists knows the exact steps for protecting your trees and property while keeping everyone safe. We have the right equipment and tools to perform tree trimming services across the Denver metro area. We follow exact safe procedures and keep a stringent record of equipment maintenance and usage. The right equipment is only as good as the care used to protect and preserve its quality.
Whether your tree needs a ‘haircut’ or a complete makeover, Fielding Tree & Shrub Care is ready to serve and treat you and your tree with the utmost respect. If you need help with tree trimming, schedule your free on-site estimate with our team today. We’re Denver’s favorite arborist because we will treat you like we would want to be treated.