terrible things to the trees, such as "topping" them).
Tree trimming is partly a matter of taste. I lived in west Austin for three years and became influenced by the dramatic sculptural way in which residents tend to groom their oaks there:
|Those are either live oaks or red oaks. This is a real estate sales pic which was discussed in this post.|
First, I prefer the open style - I find it looks more groomed and it also makes the front yard look and feel much more spacious.
Second, I don't want my live oaks to shade the front yard to the point of damaging our lawn or raised bed growth.
|There's our front bed of winter onions in progress. The morning shadows need to remain light and dappling, not overwhelming and crushing. (And yes, I do need to weed this bed, but so far these onions are coming along well.)|
First, review Randy Lemmon's general tips on tree trimming. He is Houston's local landscaping expert.
Second, assemble your tools (you'll see pics of the tools in the sections below):
- Step ladder (careful).
- Long-handled loppers.
- Hand-held pruning shears.
- Hand saw and/or chain saw (if your live oaks are larger)
- Safety glasses (tree debris will be raining down on you from above).
|Loppers rising to the challenge. Our trees were planted 4 years ago, and so most of the branches are still small enough for loppers rather than saw.|
|Or my husband does, because he's quite good at this kind of thing. |
The closer you are to the trunk, the more suckers should be removed.
|Here's an example - this branch was growing from the tree in a good location from an aesthetic standpoint, but it had fissured. It had to come off.|
|This is called Spanish Moss and it's like nature's Christmas decoration.|
|Are ya feelin' it!?!?!|
That's the Austin exemplar on the left, and a silhouette view of my newly-hacked oak on the right. My tree is decades younger and still pretty gangly, but you get the feeling that it's starting to move in the desired direction.
|Into every life, a little trash-bagging must fall.|
We find that this is a two-person job: One person to trim, and the other person to bundle and bag.