How Would You Fix My Overgrown Tree?

How Would You Fix My Overgrown Tree?

Did you move into a property with overgrown trees or has it been a few years since you pruned a tree in your yard? If so, you might wonder how you can fix the overgrown tree, so it looks good and grows well. Most trees enjoy pruning in the mid to later wintertime when the tree slips into dormancy as it encourages new growth when the spring arrives. Use this guide to learn how to prune a tree properly and fix overgrown trees on your property.

How Would You Fix My Overgrown Tree?

Plan Your Pruning

Avoid pruning in the fall as it attracts disease to the tree. If the weather is unseasonably warm during the fall, avoid pruning at this time as well. Warm weather can cause new growth to appear, which dies off when the cold weather arrives, damaging the tree. The best time of year to trim most trees including fruit trees and deciduous trees is late winter to early spring.

Planning is essential to determine which branches to remove to improve tree growth and its shape when the growing season arrives. You’ll need to assess which branches require removal to benefit the tree’s health. Look for crossing branches and remove branches where overcrowding is present.

Remove Diseased and Dead Wood

Fix an overgrown tree by cutting branches back and removing dead or diseased limbs first. This strategy prevents the disease from spreading and allows the tree to bloom or produce more leaves during the spring and summer.

Never cut away more than 25% of the branches. Removing too many large branches stresses the tree, and stunts growth. Excess cutting can also cause a lack of nutrients because of limited leaf growth during the summer.

Always keep the branch collar intact to protect the tree trunk from decay. Damage to the branch collar can decay the tree.

Remove Water Sprouts and Suckers

Cut away the water sprouts and suckers because they take nutrients and don’t add any value to the tree’s growth or health. Suckers grow from the base of the tree to the ground, and sprouts are the thin branches growing upwards to the branches.

Sprouts and suckers draw valuable nutrients that impact the normal blooming of the tree in the summer. Removing them cleans up the tree’s appearance, making it more visually appealing.

It also gives you a clearer view of the branches you must remove. Cut the sprouts and suckers as close to the trunk as possible. They’ll heal easily without attracting pests or disease.

Remove Crossing and Downward-Facing Branches

Assess the branches and remove any that grow at a downward angle or inward. Look for branches crossing others and remove the weaker ones to prevent overcrowding. Remove them as flush to the limb or trunk as possible using the same method as for the sprouts and suckers.

Regular pruning prevents the branches from rubbing against each other. Pruning prevents crowding out the air circulation and sunlight to the healthy branches and center of the tree. Limiting sunlight penetration to the tree’s center also encourages infestations of disease and pests.

Identify Leaders

Consider the tree’s shape and desired height when planning your pruning strategy. Aim to create well-balanced tiers that look visually pleasing.

A tree trunk with more than one main branch is also known as the leader in tree species. All other branches sprout from the leaders. The secondary branches form the third tier of the tree, creating a balanced and strong structure. This shaping adds to the visual aesthetics of the tree and improves its structural integrity. Trim leaders approximately 24 inches above second-tier branches.

Prune Secondary Branches

Overgrowth of secondary branches creates a cluttered look at the tree’s center, cutting out airflow and sunlight. Look for the strongest branches coming from the leader and use them to make the second tier.

Prune away thinner and shorter branches to create a balanced look. If you believe that one of the undeveloped secondary branches will eventually grow into a limb, and will add an eye-pleasing shape in the long term, keep it.

Similarly, you should trim larger branches that detract from the visual balance of the tree, weighing down one side. The final pruning occurs in the second and third-tier branches. If the tree has a robust-looking set of branches from the second tier, thin the third tier and leave the strongest branches to create a balanced appearance.

After balancing the tiers, trim smaller branches growing from the second and third tiers. Remove any limbs that look thinner than the diameter of a pencil.

Consult with a Professional Arborist

If you have no experience pruning trees and you need to fix an overgrown tree in your yard, hire a professional arborist to take a look at it. Local tree care professionals are often best suited to complete the task for a strong, healthy tree post-pruning.

Tree Services of Omaha

Tree Services of Omaha, Nebraska is a full-service tree care provider that offers a wide range of arborist services including but not limited to: Tree Removal Services, Tree Trimming, Tree Pruning, Tree and Shrub Shaping, Stump Removal, Stump Grinding, Arborist Consultations, Systemic Tree Injections.

Contact us today for a free estimate!