Tree Talk with an Arborist

canva brown and yellow leafed trees

We sat down with EarthWorks arborist Paul to discuss why tree trimming is important, and what really happens when an arborist inspects and trims a tree. Read his interview to gain important insights regarding the health of your property’s trees.

Why do we need to trim trees?

Tree trimming is really about the overall health of the tree. When we trim, we’re doing one of three things.

First, we’re removing dead wood that can cause disease. Trimming the tree also helps to provide better air circulation and better sunlight penetration to prevent or lesson future disease.  Just like humans shouldn’t leave an infection or a cavity unattended, we can’t leave diseased wood on a tree and expect it to remain healthy.

Tree trimming can also help to correct or maintain branching structures. You can train your trees to lean in the proper direction, keep your dominant branch healthy, and even protect them from windstorms based on how you trim them. When your trees are property trimmed, they’re less likely to break off in Texas storms, which can lessen the risk of damage to your property.

Last, trimmed trees just look better and give off a nicer aesthetic on your property!

When is the best time to prune a tree?

This time of year (late winter / early spring) is the optimal pruning window. Because Texas winters are mild, it’s vital to prune the tree before it begins to push out its spring leaves.

It takes several weeks for trees to go dormant after their leaves drop, and it’s vital to let them rest for a little while before pruning. Trees need time to heal from pruning wounds, and you don’t want them focusing their energy on healing wounds while also trying to push out new buds. Pruning in late winter is optimal timing because trees are still dormant and can heal quickly.

Why should someone invest in an arborist rather than a general landscaper or contractor? Is the work really that different?

Absolutely. Using a general landscaper to trim trees is like going to someone who is just starting med school versus being treated by an experienced medical doctor.

Arborists have to be experienced in their field and complete ongoing educational requirements to receive certification. We do more than trim branches; we assess the tree and surrounding landscape to ensure everything stays in good health. For example, you should never prune more than 1/3 of a tree at one time, and you need to avoid pruning too close to the main branches or you risk damaging the entire tree. In fact, a good pruning may not be visible; you’ll simply notice your tree looks better than it did before.

At Earthworks, we employ arborists because we believe the health of your landscape is worth the investment. Our arborists will work with you to ensure your tree doesn’t just look healthy, but that is also stays healthy from the inside out for years to come!


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