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Whether you have inherited trees as part of your Wellington property or have decided to add them as part of planned landscaping, regular maintenance of your plants is important if you want them to prosper in years to come. You might feel comfortable doing light pruning, but a qualified arborist can help with bigger tasks and keep your trees looking lovely. The work you will require will depend on how old your trees are, so ask your arborist for a site visit to assess your plants.
In the beginning, pruning should be carefully done to ensure there is no damage to the tree during its initial growth phase. Cutting should be restricted to broken branches or branches that have been affected by insects. Branches competing with the main tree should also be pruned. Once the tree has established itself, pruning should focus on encouraging growth. Root suckers and thinner branches that may compete for light and water should be removed and some of the lower limbs can be taken off as well as branches that may be growing in the wrong direction.
After five years, it can be a good idea to prune some of the lower limbs to ensure the tree is of a good height and will not impact on people. You might also want to cut a few of the top branches to keep the tree in a nice shape or for more even spacing.
If you have taken good care of your tree in the beginning, it should be well prepared to deal with the elements, even the strong Wellington winds, and last longer. However, your tree will still need on-going maintenance and each winter or early spring it can be helpful to look for dead or damaged branches that could affect the tree if left.
Sometimes trees will develop diseases or not flourish despite regular care and, in this case, you may need to have the tree removed to prevent it spreading disease to other plants or causing structural problems. Removing a tree properly is a difficult job and should be left to expert tree surgeons to minimise damage to the surrounding area and to ensure all parts of the tree are taken out. If you are having a tree removed, ask the contractor if they will also handle taking away or chipping the damaged wood so you are not left with a mess to clear up.
Hiring a professional arborist takes the hassle out of pruning. A qualified tree surgeon can help with pruning at any stage, and particularly once a tree has got bigger and may require ladders or even a cherry picker to reach the higher branches, it can be preferable to hire a professional.
Using an experienced arborist ensures that your trees are pruned carefully and an experienced eye is likely to create a better shape than you may be able to as an amateur, meaning your trees look better as well.
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