For many customers, a tree is a tree. They (the trees) get planted on properties, they grow for a while, and sometimes, some of them seem to get sick and/or die. Life happens, eh? Then we cut them out, grind the stump, or replace them. Is that just a cost of ownership, or could those costs be avoided?

We property caretakers know how important it is to get our underground sprinkler systems blown out/winterized, that we need to change our furnace or air filters at least once a year, and we need to get rid of the leaves in our gutters. But do you regularly maintain your trees as well?

There are a lot of websites that discuss the benefits of proper pruning for trees, but what about the benefits of proper pruning to a property owner? DON’T WE HAVE FEELINGS TOO???

This blog post will outline many of those benefits so you can make an informed decision on pruning your trees.

One of the first major benefits of proper pruning to a property owner is SAFTEY. We want to be able to enjoy our property without fear of a dying tree or broken branch damaging our property or injuring a loved one. Proper pruning will remove dead or dying branches, cut back healthy branches so they don’t damage the siding, roof, or other parts of your property, and ensure proper clearance and sightlines near walkways and driveways.

We all know the five D’s of Dodgeball – “Dodge, duck, dip, dive, and dodge.” Do we know the four D’s of proper tree pruning? “Dead, damaged, diseased, defective.” For a Certified Arborist, these are the four areas we review first and foremost as they are the easiest and most important to identify.

Another major benefit to a property owner of proper pruning is having healthier, more attractive trees improves the overall value and APPEAL of a property since properly maintained trees also allow other lower-growing plants (including grass!) to be healthier. Properly pruned trees won’t block sunlight or hoard nutrients, allowing other plants to get the sunlight and nutrients they need, and thus, reduce the amount of maintenance they require. An overall healthier, more attractive landscaping increases the overall appeal of a property. Properly pruned trees also allow the tree to focus its energy to growing healthy limbs as opposed to using its energy to try to heal or save damaged limbs. Proper pruning also “trains” the tree how to grow properly which, over time, may reduce the need to prune it as often. Last, properly pruned trees also discourage excess insect inhabitation since weak, damaged, diseased and/or defective branches are removed. Those are hotspots for insects to make homes.

A third major benefit to a homeowner of properly pruned trees, especially fruit trees, is increased HARVEST. Yes, I suppose to some people don’t want any more apples than they already get, but for many people the more fruit the better! How many friends and relatives can you bless with additional fruit production? There’s an old adage of pruning fruit trees that goes something like, “Once you’re done pruning an apple tree, do it again.” Fruit trees can require extensive proper pruning which can greatly affect fruit production.

In conclusion, proper tree maintenance improves the safety, appeal, and harvest of trees. It also can greatly reduce the overall cost of ownership, especially if trees or other plants need to be replaced due to improper or a lack of maintenance. While many companies may sell a tree pruning service, please do research the company before investing in it. The International Society of Aboriculturists (ISA) does certify professionals in proper tree pruning and care, so please hire an ISA Certified Arborist so you know your tree pruning is done the right way at the right time.