Three Ways To Control Overgrown Trees

Posted on: 11 September 2017

Overgrown trees on your property can make your landscape look unkempt, and they can also pose a hazard since they are more likely to drop branches or blow down. Often, these overgrown trees can be saved so that they become beautiful accents to the yard, as well as providing shade. The following are a few options for controlling the trees.

Trim back bushy growth

Many evergreens are more shrub than tree, which means they can be trimmed rather extensively to control size. Evergreens are typically trimmed at any time from late fall to late winter, although you can prune in summer if you must. When cutting these back, make sure you don't cut back beyond where needles or leaves are actively growing on the branch, or you will end up with a dead spot. The top should also be trimmed to either a point or a rounded mound so that snow and ice can easily slide off without damage.

Cut back overgrown branches

There is only so much you can do to control the spread of a large canopy of a deciduous tree, and there is nothing you can really do about the height. The best option is to remove any branches that are posing an immediate hazard, such as those scraping against buildings or those that are damaged or dead. When removing large branches, care has to be taken to prune the opposite side of the tree as well to ensure the canopy remains balanced. The remaining branches can then be cut back by up to a third of their length to help make the canopy smaller, but the natural shape of the canopy should be maintained.

Control root growth

Often, it isn't the canopy that is an issue, but the roots. They can lift sidewalks and damage foundations. A healthy root system should be at least the same diameter as the canopy for many tree varieties. If roots are causing problems beyond this zone, you can have a root barrier installed. This is typically made of metal sheeting, which is buried to create an underground fence that roots cannot grow through. An arborist will first cut through the roots to stop their growth, then they will install the barrier.

In some cases, your only option may be to remove the tree, but you should first consider other choices if you like the look of the plants. For more help, contact an arborist or tree service in your area.

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