Pine Tree Pruning in Salem County, NJ
Pine tree pruning is an essential task that needs to be undertaken by any property owner with pine trees. Whether you love or hate them, hand it to pine trees. They know how to skyrocket. It is easy to see why so many people plant them. Pine trees are perfect for having a quick screen for privacy or to shelter their property from the wind. In no time at all, you can have a 30 foot green wall around your property or along a fence line.
The problem occurs when 30 feet becomes 40 feet, and the year after that it becomes 50 feet. This keeps going on and on until you look outside and realize those saplings you planted in the ground a few years back are now almost 60 feet tall. You will have no light on your property, and nothing grows except for your pine trees. So what is the solution?
THINK LONG TERM WITH YOUR PINE TREE PRUNING
It can be very tempting to have your pine trees “topped” down to a sensible height. This may ease your problems for now. However, after a time, the same problem will be back with another one added. After they have been topped, the trees will quickly attempt to put back the foliage that was removed. The branches that were growing sideways just below where the tree was topped will grow straight up in order to replace the stem that was removed.
These replacement stems are more prone to snapping in the wind as they have weaker attachments to the trunk. Also, the wound left behind from topping the trees will decay over time, further weakening the trees at this point. It’s likely that the foliage in the rest of the tree will thicken in order to replace what was removed. Once you have topped your trees in this way, they will require pruning regularly in order to keep them at the height you desire and prevent branches from snapping out.
BEFORE YOU START TRIMMING YOUR PINE TREES
A better solution can be to analyse what purpose you want the trees to serve. If you require the screen that your trees provide to be at a certain height, you are far better off planting trees whose eventual height is closer to this. They will require minimal pruning and management and will cause far fewer problems. Although at first it may seem drastic to remove trees in order to plant others, the long-term effect will be much more beneficial and cheaper to maintain.
A mature pine shelterbelt can end up being very wide. If you replaced them with mixed native species, you could fit more trees into the same area. This would benefit the local wildlife immensely and be much more appealing to the eye. The removal of the original trees can also be done in stages and phased in with the new planting. This will maintain tree cover on the site whilst the transformation is occurring and provide shelter for the new trees while they get established.
START PRUNING AT THE BOTTOM WITH PINE TREE
If you have tall pine trees on your property which you want to keep but are creating too much shade or blocking a view, another option can be to remove some of the lower branches. Removing branches from lower down does not have the same negative effects on the tree that topping does and lifts the crown of the tree away from view.
Removing a few branches from lower down on the pine tree can let in a surprising amount of light. When doing this, it’s smart to reduce the sail area of any overextended limbs that are being left and remove any large diameter deadwood in order to lower the risk of them breaking in the wind.
HEIGHTS OF DIFFERENT PINE TREE VARIETIES
In general, regular pine trees end up between 50 to 100 feet at full maturity, while dwarf pine trees typically range between 3 and 10 feet tall. Here are the heights of a few of the most common types of pine trees:
Eastern white pine: 150 – 210 ft.
Italian cypress: 65 feet
White spruce: 70 feet
Ponderosa pine: 100 feet
Scots pine: 130 feet
European larch: 140 feet
Western red cedar: 200 feet
Douglas fir: 250 feet
On average, pine trees are a bit taller than deciduous trees. To clarify, deciduous trees are trees that lose their leaves in the fall, such as maple, elm, or oak. Although height varies a bit based on the type of pine tree, most pine trees are taller than deciduous trees and grow to be between 50 and 100 feet tall. The tallest deciduous trees tend to be between 50 and 80 feet tall, with a few, such as the elm tree, reaching heights of 100 feet.
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