Tree Removal, Trimming, and Cutting
Tree maintenance is always extremely dangerous and you should rely on professional and certified arborists as often as possible. Our landscaping team here at Dayton Elite does our best to serve our community and keep everyone safe.
When is comes to tree maintenance, there are a couple options, ranging from complete removal of the tree, to tree cutting, to tree pruning/trimming. Different situations call for different solutions and there are a some general guidelines to help you determine the best one. If parts of the tree are interfering with your home or nearby power cables, or if parts of the tree have been dead for a while, it's a good opportunity to get the tree trimmed. Sometimes the tree is simply too large for it's location and would require a huge portion to be removed off the top to fit. In these situations, we recommend removing the tree completely and planting a different species. Tree topping is an extremely stressful process for the tree and is generally recommended against. Risks to the tree include sunburn, disease and infection, increased hazards, and worsened aesthetics.
Pruning a tree is one of the most important components in keeping it healthy and strong. Unlike natural trees that you come across in forests, landscape trees need more consistent and intentional maintenance to keep up their structural stability and appearance. Pruning and trimming trees require a comprehensive understanding of their biology - improper methodologies could short life span and cause irreversible damage.
Some common reasons for pruning:
As mentioned above, pruning should be intentional. In addition to removing dead branches, improving structure and appearance, and eliminating risk, you may also want to improve light or air pathways into the center of the tree or even the areas that the tree covers. Removal of dead or weak branches can be done at any time with little impact to the health of the tree. For larger pruning projects, the best timing is the fall to winter transition. Sap flow slows down and many insects are dormant during this window which reduces the risk for disease and infection. Finally, trees that are more susceptible to pathogens should not be trimmed during during active transmission time frames (e.g. oak wilt disease).
Tree Cutting and Stump Removal
If the problems and situations mentioned above are extremely severe, your landscape trees may need to be completely removed instead. Removal is necessary when you notice a large amount of dead wood on many of the branches or the trunk of the tree itself. If a large branch falls and gets stuck within the surrounding branches or if a sizable crack is discovered, cutting the tree becomes increasingly necessary.
Given the hidden complexities of cutting a tree down, it's better to rely on professional arborists rather than attempt to remove the tree yourself in order to save on costs. If the tree is isolated in an open area, making a majority of the cuts on the side you want the tree to fall is a viable option. However, if there are nearby trees or buildings, the tree should be cut in sections beginning at the highest point. It's important to correctly estimate the height of the tree to predict where it will fall. Furthermore, sometimes the tree may have rotted in areas not immediately visible to the eye which can complicate estimates around where it will fall - the tree may split away from the cut line.
Once the tree has been removed, the remaining stump needs to be dealt with. Sometimes you can leave the stump to rot away by itself, but it's generally a cleaner and safer practice to dig it out completely. There are dedicated stump-grinding machines that are placed on top of a stump in order to rip and chew it apart, shooting out the resulting wood chips into a disposable pile. Exercise extreme caution when using these machines - it can cut off your foot in an instant and the wood chips are shot out at extremely high speeds.
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