The Three Times You Should Trim A Tree In Autumn And Early Winter

Fall and early winter seem like terrific times to trim a tree. The fruit and flowers are long gone, and the leaves are falling, so you get a better view of all the branches you'd like to trim down. Looks can be deceiving, however. While the tree looks like it's in a great place for trimming, it's not, and autumn and early winter are times when you shouldn't touch the tree except in three specific circumstances. All of these have to do with safety and keeping both you and the tree alive.

Dead or Diseased Branches

If you notice any dead or diseased branches, then you need to have those trimmed off. Diseased branches that are still on the tree allow pathogens to spread to other branches and other trees if the branches of the two trees are near enough to each other. Remember that diseased trees can be that way due to insect problems and not just fungi or bacteria.

Dead branches can break and fall, harming anyone in their path. Because the break can occur suddenly, you might not have time to move out of the way before the branch hits you. That's especially bad if the person under the branch is a small child, or if there is a pet there. Dead and diseased branches need to go whenever you find them, instead of waiting for late winter and spring to trim them off.

Branches at Risk of Cracking Under Snow and Ice Weight

Sometimes branches are generally healthy but on the weaker side. If you've noticed branches like this, those should be removed, too, as the weight of snow and ice could make the branch break and fall. If you're not sure if the branches are OK, have the tree inspected, and listen to the arborist's recommendations for keeping or removing branches.

Branches That Could Hurt You if They Collapsed

If you're in a region where heavy snowfall and ice are a feature, any branch — no matter how healthy — is at risk of breaking. If any branches are hanging over your roof or other structures on your property, you need to have those branches trimmed back. You want your house to remain safe should there be a severe storm that could damage even the strongest of trees.

Call a tree trimming company and ask them to take a look at the trees in your yard. Let them know you want to identify and remove branches that are dead, diseased, or positioned in a way that could damage your home if they did break. Once those branches are removed, you'll be in a much better -- and safer -- spot as winter approaches.