Should I Trim the Lower Branches on a Young Tree?

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Should I trim lower branches on a young tree to keep it in better shape? When is the best time?

Trimming the lower branches of young trees could be critical for the tree’s healthy development, but only if you get the details right. Austin's trusted tree service company shares more below.

Trimming Lower Branches Strengthens Young Trees

Should I trim lower branches on a young tree? Yes, this practice will benefit your tree in many ways, including strengthening it for the seasonal changes ahead.

Newly planted trees often develop growth defects, and these issues worsen as the tree grows bigger and older. You can correct problems when your tree is mature, but it’s challenging. The process may require a lot of corrective trimming, which can result in severe stress and risk the tree’s well-being. 

So, it’s better to start pruning young trees' lower branches to prevent growth defects and help the growing trees maintain a beautiful, more balanced structure. 

Trimming the Right Lower Branches on Young Trees Will Encourage Healthy Trunk Development

When you remove branches from your tree at a young age, you help it develop a good branch structure and a healthy trunk. A leader is the vertical stem at the top of the trunk. 

Trees often have a single leader, but some can develop several leaders. Luckily, you can correct double leaders with certain trimming techniques. 

How and When Arborists Recommend Removing the Lower Branches of a Young Tree

Trimming the lower branches on a young tree is helpful, but you should know when to do this to get the best results. For example, tree care experts like Monster Tree Services will typically recommend trimming young trees about three to five years after planting them. They’ll have established themselves properly in the ground at that point. 

When trimming, a certified arborist is also careful not to exceed a quarter of your tree’s canopy in one go. If you remove more branches than necessary, the tree might have a hard time photosynthesizing, which can lead to stress and poor growth or death. 

If possible, don’t prune young trees in summer. Pruning during late fall, winter, or early spring has the following two advantages over summertime trimming:

  • Cooler temperatures bring a lower risk of tree diseases spreading

  • Trimmed wounds will have enough time to recover before the tree’s main growth period starts in the spring.

If you’d like to be sure about the timing for your tree species and location, be sure to consult with a certified arborist in your area before attempting a trim.

Ask Your Local Tree Experts How To Help Your Tree Thrive

Should I trim lower branches on a young tree? Yes, a certified arborist should trim your young and old trees annually for a variety of benefits. In young trees, trimming prevents growth defects, strengthens the structure, and more.

Besides pruning, Monster Tree Service provides a wide range of tree services in Austin, Texas, to ensure optimal plant health care. Call (512) 641-5638 for a free estimate or to learn about the dangers of tree topping today!