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How to Look After Your Trees, Shrubs and Hedges



Outline

Introduction to tree pruning and hedge trimming

Tree pruning and hedge trimming is generally done to ensure improvement in the growth and health of your trees and making the surrounding area safer.

"For home owners not only does it enhance the appearance but also the value of the property."

On the other hand forest trees are free to grow wild. They extend their branches out. Stretch twigs up as high as they can grow searching for sunlight. The older, weaker twigs below are shed down to the forest floor.

On the other hand those present in our gardens and lining our streets do not have this much freedom. Pruning is essential for those trees to be healthier, look better and to ensure they grow strong.

Trees

All trees are perennial vascular plants. They have potential to live longer in comparison to other plant species. Most varieties of trees can live hundreds of years. Trees differ from many other plants in terms of having a woody trunk.

Growing to some considerable height and spreading lateral branches some distance from ground. “They add shade, a beautiful viewpoint, and frame to our homes and yards.

Shrubs

A shrub is defined as a woody plant which is shorter than a tree and usually has a rounded shape. The main difference between the shrub and tree is that a shrub has numerous main stems while tree has only one main trunk.

Generally the size of shrubs vary from huge bushes to lower ground cover. Shrubs play an important role in garden design. They provide visual beauty, colour, structure and interest.

There are many types of shrubs from small border fillers to bold shrubs. You can select them according to your garden size and soil conditions.

Shrubs are regarded as a small woody plant with many perennial stems that may be erect or may lay close to the ground.

Hedge

Hedges

A hedge or hedgerow is a row of closely spaced shrubs or trees, it is normally trained to form a fence or to mark the boundary of an area. Hedges can be used to separate a neighbouring property, a pathway from adjoining fields, residential area or separating one field from another.

They play an important role in windbreaks to improve conditions for the neighbouring crops. On clipping and maintaining, they represent a simple form of topiary.

The following are the more common ornamental modern garden hedges used in United Kingdom.

  • Yew English
  • Beach green
  • Beach purple or copper
  • Hornbeam
  • Hawthorn
  • Lavender English
  • Carb apple
  • Blackthorn
  • Hazel
  • Field maple
  • English oak
  • Wild cherry
  • Willow
  • Holly English
  • Alder Bird cherry
  • Flowering current

Pruning

Pruning is a technique for the removal of dead, dying or unwanted branches. This is commonly known as tree trimming. This technique is used to make trees safer, more attractive, and to encourage or restrict growth in certain areas. For practical purposes and to make trees or shrubs more aesthetically dazzling.

Pruning practices help maintain your garden plants keeping them healthier for longer. Pruning can start from the very young age of the plants. Especially when creating desired future branch structure. Making it possible to give a more favoured shape to plants.

It is important to prune mature trees to control the plants size. Providing clearance for footpaths and traffic by eliminating possibly dangerous branches. This also improves the exterior appearance of the plant.

Hedge

Prune Young Trees

When trees are young they can be trained into any form or shape. “Generally they need frequent pruning to establish useful branch structure.

Normally for young plants pruning would be required if they have damaged or broken branches. As for as a tree, to grow taller or flourish, only the lower undesirable branches are cut.

Pruning types

  • Dead-wooding:

    This is the most useful type of pruning, to remove dying, dead, and decaying branches only. This should be done frequently to keep your trees safe and healthy.
  • Thinning:

    This is another useful method of pruning used to thin out the tree canopy. For thinning, a tree climber should have to follow the advice of a Certified Arborist, and selectively eliminate branches for canopy thinning. Thinning permits air and wind to pass through the tree. Thus diminishing the potential hazard of falling branches. Similarly for air and sunlight to reach the ground by thinning practices.
  • Raise canopy:

    Pruning of many bottom branches may be done to develop a canopy. This could be done to remove low hanging branches above a driveway or walkway. Doing this also allow sun- light to reach grass and below plants.
  • Canopy cleaning:

    This is the most comprehensive type of trimming or pruning. A tree climber eliminates all dying, dead, or decaying wood, and sprout growth in the canopy. Removing branches to maintain the tree’s natural form. Advice from a Certified Arborist is worth considering on how to prune your trees to get the desired direction and shape of plant growth.
  • Prominent Leader:

    In this method a single prominent leader stem is maintained, which is the strongest and tallest. Keeping the strongest and straight stem and avoid rival branches from growing taller than the main trunk. Eliminating them or twisting them down to slow their growth.
  • Proper pruning Cuts:

    Never cut the branch flush with the trunk to prevent removing the branch collar. The collar is a natural protective tissue which contains many protective natural chemical substances that helps in rapid healing of a wound or cut after pruning.

Right time to prune

  • Prune trees, during late winter or spring while they are dormant. This also allows time for the plant to recover and flower in summer.
  • Diseased, broken, or dead branches should be removed however stressed branches should be avoided, as their leaves are important for regaining their health.
  • Some trees, like birch and maple ooze out a sap in excessive quantities after pruning, mostly referred to as tree bleeding. Although this is not harmful to the tree, it can be avoided by trimming in late fall or early winter when new spring growth has finished

Advantages of pruning

  • Pruning helps keep plants under control, maintaining a correct size for space ratio.
  • Thinning and pruning of shrubs significantly reduces the risk of disease.
  • Trees show enhanced growth after pruning.
  • Pruning can revitalised old dense, crowded shrubs, and improve the look of plants by reducing their size.
  • Flower and fruit production is encouraged through pruning.

Pruning tools

There are a number of tools which can be used for pruning. They are loppers, secateurs, tree pruning saw, long reach pruners, hand shears, topiary shears, hedge trimmers and chainsaws. There are also some scissors designed specifically for garden use. These are useful to cut flowers or dead heading on relatively thinner stems.

Electric Hedge Trimmer

Cordless Electric Hedge Trimmer

Cordless hedge trimmers can be very useful for many gardening jobs. Not only can they be used for the conventional hedge trimming service they were built for, but can also make short work of stubborn thicker wild unwanted plants.

The cordless versions of these garden tools are much safer and portable than the electric cabled versions. No need to keep your eye on the cable anymore. How many times have you cut or almost cut through a training cable?

Electric Chainsaw

Cordless Electric Chainsaws

A chainsaw is a mechanical, portable mobile tool, having a set of teeth attached to a spinning chain that runs along a guide bar. This tool is greatly used in activities such as timbering, tree falling, and pruning. It is also used for cutting firebreaks in woodland, harvesting of firewood and for fire suppression.

Some chainsaws are particularly designed with chain and bar combinations to be used in timber mills. This specialised tool is commonly used for cutting timber for use in the construction of buildings.

The cordless chainsaw is designed especially for its portability, whilst battery powered it still offers the same capabilities as petrol versions. It is very effective for cutting back dead wood and pruning trees. But is also at home cutting and stocking up on fire-woods for winter use. This is a time saving and physically less demanding tool than its petrol counterpart.

Now a days, it is used by homeowners and professionals alike for many of their gardening needs. Due to its advance features such as fast charging batteries and longevity of use. They are very user friendly and light in weight giving it a distinct advantage over traditional petrol powered chainsaws.

Advantages of Cordless Electric Chainsaws

  • Safer

    Using a cordless electric chainsaw is an efficient and safe way to cut wood. However you have to take precautionary measures before using this tool. It is recommended to wear earmuffs and goggles. It has advantage over the electric chainsaw as you do not need to worry about accidentally cutting the cord or tripping over it.
  • Power

    These tools are now equipped with a large and powerful batteries that can last for long time. So it gives you the freedom to cut wood anywhere without worrying about power cables or having to go to the gas station for more petrol. However they do need to be recharged from time to time.
  • Faster

    As the cordless chainsaw is portable, it provides a much wider range of mobility. There is no need to unplug and plug the cable into a new source each time you move.

References

  • What is Pruning? Importance, Benefits & Methods of Pruning. Davey Blog. (n.d.). Link
  • TREE PRUNING METHODS/TYPES IN DETAIL. Morgan, T. (2016, April 02). Link
  • Types of Pruning and Trimming. Heath, H. (2015, March 27)Link
  • Cordless power tools for large gardens and professionals applications. (2019, December 17). Link
  • Pruning Shrubs and Hedges. Link
  • Hedge and Shrub Trimming & Pruning. Link
  • What are shrubs and how are they different from trees? (2019, October 30). Link
  • Native Hedging. Link


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