There are different reasons for trimming mature trees. It improves their looks, it may be necessary to remove diseased parts, and it is sometimes necessary to prevent a potential hazard. Here are four signs that may mean that your tree is a hazard, but it may be saved by trimming:
Branches with Missing Bark
A tree's bark contributes to its structural integrity; removing the bark makes the branch weak and likely to fall. Missing bark, especially if it includes some missing wood, is usually the result of injuries occasioned by snow, diseases or injuries. The more bark is missing, the more the branch is likely to break and fall.
Your tree may also require trimming if it starts to lean. Such a tree has uneven weight distribution, and it may take even the force of a small wind to topple it over. There are various reasons why a tree may start to lean. It may be that its roots are weak, it has lost branches to one side, it has been pushed to one side by the wind or its trunk is weak (perhaps due to disease).
Depending on how far it is leaning and what is causing it to lean, you may have to trim the tree or cut it down. For example, if it is leaning too far because its roots are damaged, then you may have to cut it down. However, a tree that is leaning slightly due to wind forces may be saved by trimming.
It is useful to inspect your trees regularly for the strength of their joints. If the joint between a branch and the main trunk (or a primary branch and a secondary branch) is weak, then it becomes weak. If you don't want to cut down the entire tree, then you can save it by trimming off the affected branches.
Crossing or Rubbing Branches
Ideally, tree branches should grow independently of each other. If they start to crisscross or rub on each other, they become weak. This is because their barks rub off at the points of contact, and this can introduce diseases or decay into the affected branches. Additionally, the branches may also be weakened at the points where they rub because growth at that point may be hampered.
Cutting down a tree should not always be the first solution if it is structurally weak. You need to call for an arborist (such as one from Mead Tree & Turf Care Inc) to examine the tree and determine if it can be saved. In many cases, merely trimming off some branches may be enough to preserve a tree.