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Pine tree pruning is an essential task that needs to be undertaken by any property owner. Whether you love or hate them, you have to hand it to pine trees they know how to grow quickly. It is not hard to see why so many people plant them. Pine trees are perfect for having a quick screen for privacy or to shelter their property from the wind. In no time at all you can have a 10 meter green wall around your property.
The problem occurs when the 10 meters becomes 12 meters, and the year after that it is 14 meters. This keeps going on and on until you look outside and realize those saplings you planted in the ground a few years back are now almost 30 meters tall. You will have no light to your property, and nothing grows in your garden except for your magnificent pine trees. So what is the solution? Below are a few tips if you are facing a situation similar to this one.
Think long term with your Pine Tree Pruning Solutions
It can be very tempting have your pine trees “topped” down to a sensible height. This may alleviate your problems in the short term, however after time the same problem will be back with another one added too. After they have been topped the trees will quickly attempt to put back the foliage that was removed. The branches that were growing sideways just below where the tree was topped will begin to grow straight up in order to replace the stem that was removed.
These replacement stems are more prone to snapping in the wind as they have weaker attachments to the trunk. Also the wound left behind from topping the trees will decay over time further weakening the trees at this point. It’s likely that the foliage in the rest of the tree will thicken in order to replace what was removed. Once you have topped your trees in this way they will require pruning on a regular basis in order to keep them at the height you desire and prevent branches from snapping out.
Identify your Goals before you start Pine Tree Pruning
A better solution can be to analyse what purpose you want the trees to serve. If you require the screen that your trees provide to be at a certain height you are far better off planting trees who’s eventual height is closer to this, they will require minimal pruning and management and will cause far less problems. Although at first it may seem drastic to remove trees in order plant others, the long term affect will be much more beneficial and cheaper to maintain.
A mature pine shelter belt can end up being very wide. If you replaced them with mixed native species you would be able to fit more trees into the same area. This would benefit the local wildlife immensely and be much more appealing to the eye. The removal of the original trees can also be done in stages and phased in with the new planting. This will maintain tree cover on the site whilst the transformation is occurring and provide shelter for the new trees while they establish themselves.
Take a bottom up Approach with Pine Tree Pruning
If you have tall pine trees on your property which you want to keep but are creating too much shade or blocking a view another option can be to remove some of the lower branches. Removing branches from lower down does not have the same negative effects on the tree that topping does and lifts the crown of the tree away from view.
Removing a few branches from lower down on the pine tree can let in a surprising amount of light. When doing this it can be prudent to reduce the sail area of any overextended limbs that are being left and remove any large diameter deadwood in order to lower the risk of them breaking in the wind.
Best Piece of Tree Pruning advice we could ever give:
The best piece of advice I could ever give is to consider your options when you plant pine trees. Yes, they grow quickly but they can soon outgrow their space and end up being an eye sore and expensive. If you’re prepared to wait a little bit longer you can have much more appealing trees on your property. You’ll also have pine trees which require little or no maintenance and can be home to wide variety of native birds.
Pine Tree Pruning Services and Resources
For more information about what to plant in your garden, the following links have a great deal of useful info:
- Native plants.
- What to plant to support birds and other wildlife.
- Biodiversity with native plants.
- Native Shelter Belts.