Should I Trim the Lower Branches on a Young Tree in Marietta, GA?

You’ve heard that tree trimming promotes growth on mature trees, but it can seem counterintuitive on young plants. If you’re wondering, “Should I trim the lower branches on a young tree?” you’ve come to the right place. Below, our team from Life’s Tree Doctor, a leading tree service in Marietta, discusses everything you need to know about pruning young trees. 

should i trim lower branches on a young tree

The Benefits of Trimming the Lower Branches on Younger Trees

Branch trimming is an important form of maintenance on all trees, including newly planted trees. Here’s why:

  • Pruning establishes a strong tree structure: Young trees can form defects at an early age that prevent them from growing properly. Assuming you understand tree anatomy, you can correct these defects with small pruning cuts that help the tree grow into a more natural shape. For example, if your tree has double leaders (two trunks), you may correct this branching structure so that the tree grows to have one central leader over time.
  • Trimming can prevent disease and decay from spreading: If a few branches begin showing signs of disease or decay, you can remove them before it spreads. 
  • Pruning can keep the trunk strong: Heavy branches place stress on young trunks. To prevent the tree from toppling over or leaning as it grows, you can gradually thin heavy branches to keep the trunk straight and strong.  
  • You can mitigate risks of property damage: When tree branches fall, they can injure nearby people or damage your property. By trimming heavy, decaying branches, you can mitigate these risks. 

How Old Should a Tree Be Before Trimming?

“So, should I trim the lower branches of a young tree?”

Yes, but you must wait until the tree reaches a certain age. If you begin cutting branches from a tree you planted only a year ago, you might reverse its progress. In general, you will need to wait three to five years after planting before any pruning, as this will allow the tree to fully establish itself. 

Choosing the Right Time of Year for Tree Trimming

The best times of year for tree trimming are late fall, winter, and early spring. Trimming during these seasons allows the following:

  • Colder temperatures for limited disease spread
  • Limited plant growth for easier pruning decisions
  • Ample recovery time before the next growth season

How Many Branches Should I Trim?

Knowing how many trees to trim can be a challenge. You will want to eliminate some of the concerns discussed previously, but you don’t want to accidentally over-trim. In general, you should never trim more than a quarter of the tree’s total canopy, though the total amount you trim will depend on many factors, like the type of tree and its age. 

Prevent Over-Trimming by Calling the Experts

If you’re still wondering, “Should I trim the lower branches on a young tree?” consider leaving the work to the experts. Without ample pruning knowledge, you could risk over-trimming, which prevents the tree from producing food and ultimately limits growth. Call Life’s Tree Doctor in Marietta, GA, today at (678) 543-5443 to schedule our expert tree-trimming service

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