Limbing Up (Pruning Lower Branches) Trees
Put away the saw and enjoy the beauty of your mature evergreen.
Removing the lower branches, called limbing up or crown raising, is done for our convenience not the health of the tree. Municipalities and homeowners often remove the lower limbs for pedestrian and vehicular clearance or to let the sun shine in for grass to grow.
Mature trees, especially evergreens, benefit when healthy lower branches are left intact. Removing large limbs can increase the risk of decay. And over pruning removes many of the energy producing needles and leaves. This can greatly stress and negatively impact the health and vigor of the tree.
Consider extending the mulch bed around the tree to make maintenance easier. If you must remove lower branches do it over a longer period of time to reduce the stress on the plants.
A bit more information: You can be kind to your trees and have an abundance of greenery. Consider growing drought and shade tolerant perennial groundcovers around and under your trees. These plants will thrive with minimal care once established. You will need to provide sufficient water the first few years to get these plants established. Watch my Melinda’s Garden Moment video, Dealing with Surface Roots, for tips on planting under and around trees.
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