Should You Trim Dead Branches Off Trees?

Should You Trim Dead Branches Off Trees?

Should you trim dead branches off trees? Many trees have dead branches that have been there long, but do you know why? Most people leave dead or diseased branches on a tree, thinking they will be of no consequence, but many don’t realize that keeping these tree branches could cause more harm than good.

This post on tree trimming in Philadelphia will help explain why you should trim dead branches off trees, even though it may seem like a waste of time. After all, you could let those leaves fall on the ground and rot away. However, if you want your tree to thrive, it’s essential to trim them back.

Why Trim Dead Branches?

Here are a few reasons to trim dead branches off your tree:

Dead Branches on Mature Trees Are a Fire Hazard

The wood of dead branches is dried out, meaning if a fire starts, the branches will burn quickly and intensely, which can spread to other parts of the tree. This can cause it to die from the top down or even from the bottom up if the tree has exposed roots.

Dead Branches Make It Harder for Nutrients to Get Where They Need to Go

Should you trim dead branches off trees to preserve how trees get their nutrients? Yes.

Cutting off dead branches helps trees because it allows nutrients to go where they are needed. When a branch dies, it’s often connected to the trunk and other branches via a “water-conducting tissue called phloem. Phloem carries sugar from photosynthesis up the tree and redistributes it. When a branch dies, however, this sap flow can’t happen.

That means that nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium—stored in the leaves and transported through the phloem—can’t get where they need to go.

Dead Branches Make It Harder for Healthy Branches to Take Their Place

Cutting off dead branches is one of the most important things you can do to help your tree stay healthy and strong.

When a branch dies, it can cause problems for other branches. The way dead branches spread out makes it harder for healthy branches (especially on fruit trees) to take their place. This can ultimately lead to a weakened tree that could fall over in the wind or rain.

How to Keep Trees Healthy By Removing Dead Branches

Should you trim dead branches off trees? Yes! As stated above, there are many benefits to doing so. Here are three simple ways to remove dead branches from your trees to keep your trees healthy:

  1. Look for dead branches and cut them off at the trunk (the branch collar).
  2. Look for crossing branches and remove any that do not connect to anything else in the tree. This will improve the tree’s appearance and help new branches grow appropriately.
  3. If you’re unsure whether or not a particular branch is dead or alive, cut off a small portion of it and see if there’s new growth within two weeks—if so, it’s still alive. If there is no new growth, you should remove it as soon as possible because it can spread disease throughout your entire tree.

Contact the Tree Trimming Experts in Philadelphia for a Free Assessment

Should you trim dead branches off trees? We recommend doing so.

If you need assistance removing dead branches from trees in Philadelphia, contact the arborists at Mercado’s Landscaping and Tree Service LLC. We are a full-service tree care company specializing in tree trimming and removal.

Call (215) 764-5509 to learn the types of tree trimming services we provide and get a free assessment today.

Should I Worry About Woodpecker Damage on Trees?

Should I Worry About Woodpecker Damage on Trees?

Woodpeckers are a natural part of the ecosystem and help with pest control in Pennsylvania. These birds eat insects that damage trees, such as wood borers, caterpillars, and ants. However, to reach these insects, they must often drill holes.

Today, the tree experts at Mercado’s Landscaping & Tree Services, which is Philadelphia’s top-rated tree trimming service, will break down whether you should worry about woodpecker damage on trees and how to prevent it. 

Why Woodpeckers Peck Holes in Trees

Oftentimes, woodpeckers forage insects in trees where there is already a pest infestation. Thus, the woodpeckers clean up the infestation, which may help the tree become healthy again. 

If the tree is still alive, woodpeckers leave small rows of holes where they have foraged for insects. In rotting or dead trees, you may see large craters where woodpeckers have drilled for insects or created nesting cavities. 

Some woodpeckers, such as migratory yellow-bellied sapsuckers, will make small holes in trees to drink the sap. Other species may create tiny tree cavities to store food such as acorns. Finally, some species also create holes to nest in, which they will drill at a size slightly bigger than themselves. 

Can Woodpeckers Damage My Trees?

Because woodpeckers are part of the ecosystem, it is unlikely that they will cause major damage to your trees. Most woodpeckers drill small, shallow holes into healthy trees that won’t affect the tree’s health.

However, sapsuckers can sometimes cause tree girdling injuries. Girdling occurs when a section of vertical or horizontal bark becomes completely detached from the tree. This injury is dangerous to tree health, as nutrients travel through tree bark. 

Because sapsuckers create vertical or horizontal rows of holes, insects can become trapped in the sap, fully stripping that section of tree bark. Sapsuckers also tend to return to the same tree, meaning that the girdling injury can become worse. This species of woodpecker also favors fruit trees due to the sweet sap, which may mean that you have to envelop your fruit trees with an impenetrable mesh barrier. 

When creating a nesting cavity, woodpeckers tend to choose trees that are either dead or rotting. So, it is highly unlikely they will drill such a large hole into a healthy tree.

If you notice several tiny holes in your trees, you may also have a pest infestation rather than a woodpecker problem. If you holes in your trees concern you, you should contact a professional arborist to assess the tree damage.  

How to Prevent Woodpeckers from Pecking

If woodpecker damage on trees in your yard worries you, you can take some preventive measures to dissuade these birds. For example, you may wrap your tree trunks in burlap, plastic mesh, or hardware cloth. However, you must remove these materials during the summer as the humidity can cause tree rot. 

You may also hang reflective materials from your tree next to the trunk, such as reflective streamers, CDs/DVDs, or even aluminum foil to scare the woodpeckers. Finally, you can also provide a food source to distract the woodpeckers, such as suet slabs. 

Looking for Professional Tree Services in Philadelphia, PA?

If you would like to consult with a professional arborist about holes or woodpecker damage on trees, contact Mercado’s Landscaping & Tree Service LLC. We can advise you on what steps you should take to protect your trees and whether the damages will require tree removal (particularly if they stem from a pest infestation rather than woodpeckers). 

Call us at 215-764-5509 for tree services and advice in Philadelphia, PA today. Alternatively, check out other helpful topics, such as how long can a dead tree remain standing, on our blog. 

3 Tree Pruning Guidelines That Pros Follow

3 Tree Pruning Guidelines That Pros Follow

Do you need tree trimming in Philadelphia? Caring for your trees increases property value, improves tree health, and encourages the growth of new, healthier branches.

Unpruned trees risk growing into power lines and developing weak branches. Learning the proper methods for trimming trees requires the help of tree experts. 

Expert tree pruning guidelines ensure your trees grow healthy branches and thrive for many years. Special equipment and techniques used by professional tree services remove weak and dying branches without reducing your trees’ lifespan.

Keep reading to learn the tree pruning guidelines employed by professional tree services. 

What Is Tree Pruning? 

Tree pruning refers to selectively removing branches from overgrown trees. Directional pruning removes weaker branches to increase the nutrients supplied to healthy branches. Weak and dying branches pose safety risks to your trees and the surrounding environment.

Untrimmed trees pose the following problems: 

  • Tree branches entwined in power lines 
  • Fallen branches
  • Poor soil health 
  • Insect infestations 
  • Rooftop moss growth 

Trees should receive pruning and trimming services once a year. Even if your trees don’t require extensive trimming, professional tree services can help customers understand their trees’ health and care for them all year long.

Contact local tree experts for trimming and pruning services in the late winter or spring when trees emerge from dormancy. 

3 Tree Pruning Guidelines Used by Professionals

Proper pruning cuts involve removing branches directly before the branch collar. The branch collar rests between the trunk and the dead branch of a tree. Invasive cuts into the stump damage trees, while stumps left behind develop cavities and rot.

The most common corrective prunings involve the following techniques: 

Crown Thinning 

Crown thinning techniques involve maximizing the amount of light and air reaching a tree’s canopy. Epicormic sprouts and small branch growth can obstruct light and air from reaching the tree trunk. Professional tree services remove no more than a quarter of the tree’s canopy to preserve the shape and health of the tree. 

Tree experts preserve strong U-shaped branches and remove weak V-shaped lateral branches. Included bark, or inwardly rolled bark weakening attachments between branches, can form between V-shaped branches if not pruned correctly. Tree pruning guidelines for crown thinning also recommend removing branches that overlap or cross one another. 

Crown Raising 

Crown raising refers to removing broken or weak branches growing from the bottom of the tree’s crown. Tree trimming experts utilize crown-raising techniques to clear tree branches from power lines, buildings, and walkways. If overhanging tree branches prevent light from reaching your roof, moss may develop on rooftops. 

Contact Mercado’s Landscaping and Tree Service for help crown raising your trees. Our experts utilize specialized equipment and techniques to protect your trees and property from damage. 

Crown Reduction 

Crown reduction remains the last resort for trees growing too large for their space. Tree experts carefully remove broken branches and lateral branches no less than one-third the diameter of the union branches. 

Crown reduction techniques prove more effective than tree-topping, an outdated approach that leaves trees susceptible to decay, rot, and harsh weather conditions.

To discover the tree trimming techniques best suited for your trees, contact Mercado’s Landscaping and Tree Service today! 

Trust Mercado’s Landscaping and Tree Service LLC for All Your Tree Pruning Needs

Mercado’s Landscaping and Tree Service LLC provides reliable tree services in Philadelphia, PA. Our experts follow strict tree pruning guidelines and work tirelessly to help our customer’s trees thrive.

To learn about reasonable pricing for tree trimming and our other services, contact us today. Call Mercado’s Landscaping and Tree Service LLC at (215) 764-5509 to receive your free quote! 

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