Keeping your trees healthy

A feature in the spring cleaning feature of The Echo

Tree trimming

Tree trimming

Al Smith, owner/operator of Smitty’s Tree Service, says that spring cleanup should involve more than lawn and shrub care.  It’s also the time to consider tree maintenance.  If all you want to do is trim out dead, weak or diseased parts of a tree, this type of pruning can be done any time of the year without drastic effects on the tree.  However, pruning of fruit and many other flowering trees should typically be done in early spring.  (Late fall may also be an option when trees go dormant.)  The reason for pruning is to promote plant health.  Besides removing dead or weak branches, you should remove branches that rub together as contact with each other invites disease.  Thinning of branches increases light and air penetration to the tree’s lower branches which then encourages flower and/or fruit development.

Early spring pruning is preferred because plants are approaching a period of rapid growth and pruning wounds will heal quickly.  It’s true that pruning of some branches may mean less flowers or fruit for that year but, in the long run, pruning is always beneficial.

Al offers one other reminder to add to your spring cleanup list: review your trees and shrubs with respect to being a fire hazard.  If your property or the properties around you are heavily wooded, or if you have a shake roof or wooden siding, and you have trees close to your house, you may want to consider seeking some advice of what should be done to lessen the threat of fire damage in the event that a forest fire should occur.

Al can be contacted at 250-342-2611 or  250-342-5850.  In addition to pruning, his service includes dangerous tree removal, hedge trimming and lot clearing.  He travels from Canal Flats to Brisco, estimates are free of charge and seniors always receive a discount.

Contributed by Al Smith