They may grow sweet-scented flowers, flourish gorgeous autumn foliage, cast lovely midsummer shade, filter out impurities, supply us with plenty of pristine oxygen, and enhance a home’s property value, but trees are, nonetheless, easy to take for granted. Many people cease to really see them on a day to day basis, accepting their leafy murmuring and dappled shadows as part of the vague blur of their yard’s background scenery.
Besides the fact that they contribute so prodigiously to our happiness and well-being, trees are worth paying more attention to for the potential risks they pose. Totally hands-off tree care would be nice, but it’s certainly not reality. A fundamental part of maintaining your trees to protect yourself and your home is trimming, which can safeguard you against plenty of hazardous situations and expensive repairs down the line.
The Drawbacks of an Untrimmed Tree
One of the obvious dangers of an untrimmed tree is its obstructive potential. Left unchecked, a canopy’s liable to tangle in the high-voltage lines, mask the stop sign, or muscle out right over your rooftop.
Trees also naturally drop branches, although the frequency and extent depend partly on the species. Many trees naturally shed lower boughs as they’re shaded out. A water- or heat-stressed tree might also get rid of extra wood in an effort to conserve its resources. Disease and infestation can weaken tree limbs to the point where they snap off, especially in a gust or when laden with snow or ice. In a urban or suburban context, such gravity-yielding deadwood is a problem, to say the least.
And, in terms of secondary risks, the dense tangles and foliage of an untrimmed tree can hide dangerous situations–such as the broken, unsteadily hanging branches aptly called “widow-makers”–from view until it’s too late.
Staying on Top of Trimming
First thing’s first: Trimming is an art and a science, and also an inherently hazardous pursuit. A poorly done pruning job may leave a tree vulnerable to pests or environmental stress, or encourage excessively dense new growth. Worse yet, you’re dealing with heavy and sometimes structurally compromised branches–not to mention the task, in many cases, of tending to a canopy dozens of feet off the ground. So turn to a reputable tree trimming service for major work: It’s safer and more effective.
An arborist can reduce the risks a tree poses by identifying and removing injured or dying branches or subsidiary trunks. Besides routine pruning, it can also be valuable to have such a tree-care authority examine a canopy on the heels of a wind- or ice-storm, in case there are widow-makers or other risky damage up there.
Tree trimming goes well beyond aesthetics (or enhancing the fruiting yield): It can also prevent property damage and personal injury in the event of tumbling branches or dangerously reduced visibility. Don’t neglect this backbone of tree maintenance!