Last month I told you about the homeowner with the old giant tree that she wanted to take out, but got dollar signs in her eyes when she had an arborist tell her that the tree was worth thousands. Part of her gripe was that keeping it trimmed was a pain. What was her final decision? I’ll never know, but here’s the conclusion I came to: if you’re planning to sell, don’t pay for tree removal, let the buyer decide. Is a large tree close to the house adding to overall property value? Let the appraiser decide. At any rate, don’t pay for removal when you’re planning to sell your home.
On the other hand, if you are going to be the one living with your trees, do what saves you money and frustration AND what contributes to the value and beauty of your property. The homeowner with the big tree was paying for pruning every two years. She was doing that because the tree was interfering with her roof. From an arborist’s (tree-guy) perspective, you have to decide whether you’d rather pay for pruning and keep the tree, or pay the more expensive removal fee once and be done with it.
This month I want to talk more in depth about pruning. What are the reasons for it? What are the benefits? What are the costs? This is a timely occasion for a little pruning talk because Fall is an IDEAL time to prune your trees.
The reasons to prune…
Prune for Safety
The number one reason to prune. Large trees have large branches, and if those branches become infected with a fungus, infested with pests, or killed by a lightning strike, they’re going to eventually come off. If they’re not removed with pruning, they’re going to fall. Wet weather magnifies the problems with dead and diseased branches because a wet limb is a HEAVY limb. Saturated tree limbs weigh 4 times as much as the do under normal conditions. Don’t wait for them to fall on your car, or worse yet, yourself and your family.
Tree Health and Longevity
Pruning your trees today will keep you from having to remove them before their time. Disease and structural problems will contribute to the demise of your trees. Of course pruning removes dead and diseased branches and that’s all good, but pruning can also guide the growth of your trees so they will be structurally sound.
The Healthy Effect of Sunlight
If you’re house is surrounded by trees like mine is, you have to balance shade and sunlight. Shade keeps your house cool in the summer, but too much shade means you can’t grow grass or have a vegetable garden. And you don’t have to remove trees to get sunlight through, you can lift the canopy and thin the crown of the trees around your house so that beams of nourishing sunlight can make it down to your lawn and your garden plants.
The Value of Shade for Your Home
A tree that will eventually need to be removed, may have its life extended by professional pruning. In this case I am thinking about trees that provide shade to your home, especially to Southern and Westerly facing sides of your house. Just remember that if you have large, shade providing trees, you’re certainly going to miss them when you see your air-conditioner bill go up in the hottest months of the summer. It’s worth getting an arborist to assess your shade-providing trees. If pruning will give the tree another 5 or 10 years, why not keep your summertime energy bills lower while you can?
Ahhh… a fresh breeze, what could be more refreshing and invigorating? Circulating air is a MUST for the health of your home, and it is also a MUST for the health of your wooded and non-wooded property. Cleaning the crown of a tree with careful pruning allows air to circulate. This eliminates excess moisture trapping, especially in the joints of a tree (where branches meet the trunk). A well-ventilated crown is less likely to encourage fungus and rot.
Pruning vs Removal: Save Money and Preserve Value
How does the cost of pruning relate to the cost of tree removal? A good rule-of-thumb is 3:1. You can have a tree pruned three times before that cost would justify removal. Removal is generally more expensive. Furthermore, you may have some possible value in those trees if they are structurally sound, high quality, and of a valuable variety.
Don’t waste time fretting and worrying over your trees, make an appointment with an experienced arborist and have your trees groomed for value and beauty. At Manor Tree Service, we don’t believe in removing trees unnecessarily, Customers call on us all the time to assess the trees on their property. If they’ll benefit from pruning, we recommend it. If you have concerns about your trees’ structural soundness, we’ll give you the straight news. Sometimes a tree that a homeowner is set to reluctantly cut down can be saved.