In most city trees, the lowest tree limbs have been removed, leaving all of the leaves and branches higher up. There are several reasons people do this; getting underneath the branches to mow the grass is easier when they’re higher up, for example. People also trim their branches in order to make their yard more like a park. Despite this, leaving low hung branches on your trees can often be the best choice. In fact, leaving the lowest limbs in place may be the best way to keep your trees healthy and maintain their aesthetic appearance and value. Here are a few reasons why:
Low Tree Limbs Make a Tree More Attractive
Of course, every tree is different and many have naturally higher branches. However, some species of tree, such as Cedar, grow with their canopy low to the ground. Having these low tree limbs removed will diminish the tree’s aesthetic value. Keeping these limbs in place and simply taking proper care of them, however, will leave the tree looking more natural and therefore more attractive. The low branches also give children a place to play and adults a place to hide from the rain and elements.
There are many benefits to climbing trees for children; it helps build their motor skills while bringing them closer to nature. Some tree species, such as oak and willow, naturally develop large, strong branches that droop especially low as they mature; these are especially good for climbing.
Low Tree Limbs Keep a Tree Healthier
Having your trees pruned regularly is crucial to their health; occasionally, whole tree limbs will need to be removed in order to keep your tree in optimum shape. However, removing limbs unnecessarily can have the opposite effect and be detrimental to the health of your tree.
The fewer branches there are on a tree, the more work the remaining ones have to do to compensate. For trees, the limbs have several jobs, including absorbing water and distributing nutrition throughout the tree. The boughs of a tree also serve to protect it from the elements; the branches and leaves of a tree catch the wind and if too much stress is applied in a small area, it can harm the tree. More limbs will diffuse the stress over a larger area and prevent a lot of potential damage from coming to the tree.
Trimming a tree excessively puts it at risk; if you must trim the lower limbs, try to avoid cutting them any higher than a third of the tree’s total height. Of course, removing tree limbs on larger and older trees can also leave a large wound that can put the tree at risk from disease and pests. If you do want to trim the lower limbs of a tree, consider doing it when the tree is younger. If you need assistance safely trimming a tree, contact a tree service such as Mr. Tree.
Low Tree Limbs Provide a Home For Wildlife
While some wildlife are pests, such as rats and deer, others should be welcomed into your backyard for the beauty and other benefits they provide. Trees with their full complement of limbs and branches intact can offer a home for attractive local birds, for example. A tree that has been trimmed excessively leaves little room for birds to build nests and sing their wonderful songs. Leaving as many limbs intact as possible, including the low tree limbs, provides a home and place for wildlife to bring a touch of nature to your backyard area.
Low Tree Limbs Conserve Water
Water conservation is a huge necessity these days and trees, of course, tend to use a lot of it. While it depends quite a bit on the tree species, many types of trees do not require being watered in the normal state. They will acquire all they need from the natural rainfall and you will not have to worry about watering them at all.
There can be exceptions to this; younger trees, for example, often need to be watered until their roots are strong enough to get moisture from the soil around them. If the low tree limbs are removed, however, it will allow a lot more sunlight to get through the branches and reach the soil. This will have the effect of drying the soil and giving the tree less access to water; as a result, you might have to take extra measures yourself to provide your tree with much-needed water. Make life easier on yourself by leaving your tree limbs in place.
Low Tree Limbs Are Difficult to Remove Safely
Besides all of the factors that keep a tree healthy and aesthetically pleasing, you may also want to consider leaving low tree limbs in place for safety reasons. Often, the lowest limbs on a mature are also the largest and heaviest, and removing them can involve quite a bit of time and effort. Attempting to undertake the removal of tree limbs yourself can often pose a risk to the health of the tree, not to mention your own safety. That’s why it’s always best to contact a tree service to assist you with any major tasks.
Professionally trained arborists will have all of the necessary equipment to remove large tree limbs, including hard hats, chainsaws, and any other needed tools. They will also be properly trained to remove limbs at minimal risk to the tree itself.
If a limb is removed in an incorrect way, you can often leave the tree vulnerable to attack from bacteria, parasites, and harmful insect pests. A certified arborist can prevent this from happening.
Before considering the removal of any limbs on your tree, we recommend having a tree service come take a look. They may very well recommend leaving the large, low hanging branches in place to best serve the health of the tree. If, however, the limb is posing a risk to your home or the people in it, they can remove it safely and with minimal harm to the tree itself.