Trimming the tree to get ready for spring

Winter is almost half over and for many people the sight and smell of spring cannot come too soon.

But to get your tree ready for the warmer weather, now is the time to prune it.

There are a number of benefits to properly trimming the trees. It not only improves the health of your trees by removing dead or dying branches, it also helps prevent hazards such as falling limbs or low-hanging branches.

“Look for and prune out any cross branches that are causing rubbing or damage to the bark, any branch that grows toward the center of the tree and sprouts growing near the center of the tree should be pruned,” said Toby Tobin, a garden expert based in Kansas City, Missouri.

Experts say the only trees that need pruned are fruit trees. That will help expose the center of the tree to light.

Tobin suggests not removing any more than 20 percent of the tree branches. He said the best time to do it is when the temperature is 20 degrees or warmer.

After the tree leafs out in the spring, you will need to remove any dead branches.

Experts said there are a number of safety steps to take including never trim from a ladder and always wear a hardhat and safety glasses.

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