Maintenance is a really important part of keeping any sort of tree near a public building. Unless trees are given regular attention, they’re liable to become overgrown, with diseased or overlong branches potentially posing a hazard to those living, working or simply travelling nearby. Diseased branches should be removed and if a tree grows too close to your house or power lines, it definitely needs trimming or even removing. Here, we’ve gone into some of the most important things to remember when trimming trees – and don’t forget to use garden ladders to do the job!
Tips for trimming trees
Pruning trees is not simply a case of going full-on Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Not only is that highly dangerous without the correct safety equipment, but you could cause irreparable damage to your trees (and possibly lose a limb or three). Check when it’s best to prune each type of tree. Some trees should be pruned in the autumn while others need trimming in late spring. It’s also important to choose a suitable day for tree trimming. Mild, dry days are best, both for your comfort and for the sake of the tree.
Also, make sure you get a good look at your tree before you begin. Pay attention to dead and diseased branches, as these should be removed first. Next, assess the overall shape of the tree. You want your tree to look attractive, not lop-sided and weirdly shaped. Remove smaller branches and thick overgrowth so light can reach the main crown of the tree. Always trim branches at the point where one branch attaches to another.
Unless your trees are tiny, you’ll need to use a ladder to reach the higher branches. Ladder safety is a big concern. HSE data shows that falls from a ladder account for 40% of accidents related to falls from height. Ladders are only as safe as the person using them. When climbing a ladder to trim trees, always maintain at least three points of contact, i.e. both feet and one hand on the ladder. This is one of the golden rules – under no circumstances should you lean out to trim a branch, as you could end up falling sideways.
Try to ensure your ladder is placed on a level, flat surface. Obviously, this isn’t always possible if you’re trimming a tree in the garden. However, ladders can be tied to a stake or the tree itself if you need extra stability. It’s also wise to have a helper supporting the base of the ladder while you trim branches, especially if you are using power tools.
Inspect your ladder before you start. If there are any signs of wear and tear, don’t use it.
Different types of ladders
The most common ladder mistake is simply not using the right ladder. For example, if you’re fruit picking, a lightweight aluminium tripod like our Hendon Aluminium Tripod Ladders will provide extra stability. Meanwhile, a tripod ladder with adjustable legs can be used on uneven surfaces and a hi-step ladder is handy for trimming hedges like our Henchman Hi-Step Aluminium Garden Ladders.
Check out the options and select a sturdy, lightweight, and adjustable ladder for maximum stability. We’ve got plenty of ladders to choose from right here at Browns – and we’re always happy to help with any specialist advice or answers to your questions. Feel free to give us a call on 01282 615517!