Pine trees are one of the most majestic trees to ever exist in the world. They symbolize qualities such as longevity and magnificence. Pine can usually withstand various temperatures and climates and is generally found in both dry and temperate locations. However, no matter how grand pine trees may seem, they are living beings that need food, water, and regular maintenance to survive.
There are many trees that last long and have durable qualities and pine trees are one of them. Unfortunately, the strongest ones can also have greater weaknesses. In a pine tree’s case, they do not require that much maintenance but when they do, you need to make sure that it is done properly.
In the event that you will need to cut a pine tree’s branch, you need to know one thing: and that is the branches will not grow back. This is why it is crucial to be informed about proper practices in pruning because as soon as you get your shears, there will be no second chances.
Why your pine trees need special care
When it comes to the act of pruning, your pine trees will need more care. This is because like oaks, cypress, and aspen trees, their tree branches will not grow back once they are cut down. Compared to other trees, pines only grow upwards and will not grow branches from their trunk. When trimming is necessary, you need to prepare not only your tools and equipment but also yourself as researching where to cut and how much to cut should be done to decrease the risk of making mistakes and to avoid killing your tree.
This is the reason why many tree owners call arborists to do the trimming when their pine tree needs to be pruned. Arborists are tree professionals that are trained to do tree care, maintenance, and removal. When you are not confident that you will do a proper job of pruning your tree, it may be time to get the help of a professional.
How to cut down tree branches properly
Pruning a pine tree does not need to be a horror story. When you know what you are doing, cutting your tree’s branch can actually be easy. To keep your pines healthy, keep in mind the following tips when doing the pruning yourself.
- Avoid cutting the top branches of your pine unless it is absolutely necessary. Doing so can discourage new growth from other branches and may halt the vertical growth of your tree entirely.
- When you need to cut your tree’s lower branches, make sure that you practice self-restraint as it will never grow back. Keeping this in mind, you may have to cut a branch due to a particular reason, and you should do so correctly. There will be no sense in keeping an infected or dead branch as this will compromise your tree’s health.
- Before cutting your tree, sterilize your tools by wiping them with alcohol. This will lessen the risk of infection.
- To remove a diseased branch, cut about 6 inches more from the diseased point.
- If you are cutting a thick branch, it would be helpful to cut them by part slowly in sections. Cut the base of the limb first then make your way carefully until you do the last one to cut down the branch stub.
- For regular branches that need to be removed, it may be better to use a very sharp and sterilized pruning saw.
When should you trim your pine tree?
The best time to do your trimming is during springtime. The reason for this is because pine trees are evergreen, which means that do not go dormant and will continue to put out green leaves. When the temperature is warmer, your tree will be able to heal faster. Though a warm temperature is desired, summer is a bad time to prune as there is a higher risk of insect and pest infestations.
Winters are just as bad as they will not give the tree a chance to heal itself, resulting in your pine taking a much longer time to nurse itself back to optimal health.
Common pine tree diseases (and how to treat them)
To preserve your tree, one of the best things you can do is to take care of it properly to avoid getting a sick pine. To combat this, it will be extremely helpful for a tree owner to know what kinds of disease pine trees are prone to have and how to treat them. As with most things, prevention is the best and cost-effective way of dealing with your tree.
Pine-pine Gall Rust
This is a disease that is caused by a rust fungus that grows gall on the branch and trunk of your pine tree. Galls are usually pear-shaped and will erupt yellow spores if not treated, causing infection to the whole tree. To remove them, prune your tree properly and apply the appropriate fungicide when new needles grow. Reapply fungicide after a couple of weeks to make sure that there are no fungi left.
Pine wilt happens when pine sawyer beetles carry nematodes and enter the tree. Nematodes are parasites that can cause harm and may even cause a tree’s demise. In a pine tree’s case, nematodes will clog the water system of a tree causing it to not be able to take in water.
Unfortunately, pine wilt can cause so much damage to the trees that the wisest point of action is to have the infected tree removed and burned as soon as possible. This is to prevent the disease from spreading to other trees and plant life.