Trees are important parts of our urban, suburban, and rural landscapes. They provide privacy, shade, shelter for wildlife and other benefits. Proper care of trees requires more than application of fertilizer and water. Proper care often involves shaping trees to ensure they provide shade or do not block structures, etc. Occasionally entire trees need removing, other times only limbs need removing.
Lower limbs and smaller limbs can be removed by a homeowner, but larger limbs or higher limbs require a professional who has the tools and the training. To remove a lower limb, saw from the bottom side about one-third of the way through the limb with a tree saw. Then, sawing from the top, saw down to meet the cut. Be careful about falling branches. If the limb is to be removed close to the main trunk, try to make the cuts flush with the trunk so that projecting branch stubs are not created. Generally, if a ladder is needed or a heavy limb is to be removed, consider hiring a professional.
Tree surgery high in the tree or for large limbs is not a job for the inexperienced because it is dangerous and requires special equipment, training, and strength. If a part of a tree must be removed for cosmetic reasons, an expert can decide which limbs to remove to open a walkway, to increase light, or to stop trees from rubbing against homes, etc. If an entire tree is to be removed due to disease or insect infestation, more extensive work will be required. A professional will know how to spot disease or insect damage even if it is not outwardly visible.
Branches that are cut from the tree should be sawed into smaller logs and stacked for use or removal. Small branches may be fed through a chipper. If wood is left on the ground, it can attract insect pests or even disease agents, endangering all trees in the area. Always remove dead wood or stack properly.
Trees are important to us, but they need correct care. When performing surgery on a tree be safe, and use the right tools. Use a professional for most jobs.