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Should You Cut Dead Branches Off Trees in Marietta?

If you have a beloved tree in your yard, you may be wondering how to manage it properly. Should you cut dead branches off trees all at once or over time? Is cutting dead branches appropriate for the DIY homeowner, or is it best to leave it to the professionals? Understanding when it’s appropriate to prune dead branches from trees is one of many facets of tree care to consider when caring for your property. In this article, the top providers of expert tree removal in Marietta, GA, instruct you on the best way to go about removing dead tree limbs and how to know when it’s time to start trimming dead branches off trees.

Do Dead Branches Mean a Tree Is Dying?

If your tree is showing signs of excessive leaf fall or branch litter below it, there’s a chance your Marietta tree may be dying. Taking the following into consideration will help you determine whether removing your tree is in order or whether simply pruning it may be enough:

  • Bark damage: Bark that peels or comes off easily could be a sign that the tree is unhealthy. If the bark reveals a green layer underneath, your tree is healthy. Otherwise, it may need more careful intervention, at which point hiring an arborist may be the best course of action.
  • Sunlight coverage: When a tree blocks its own branches from sunlight, it may be killing them inadvertently. In this case, the tree just needs to be pruned.
  • Insect infestation: If you notice an excess of ants, beetles, or other insects populating your tree, chances are there is either an infestation or a significant amount of decay going on. This is a tree emergency and, therefore, not something you should ignore.
  • Weather aftermath: If your tree has recently been through a storm or another severe weather event, this could be the cause for your concerns. Before removing branches, ensure they are dead by checking for wilting leaves or fragile twigs. On the other hand, if they show signs of life, they may be salvageable.
  • Hanging placement: If you’re hanging something from your tree, such as a bird feeder or tire swing, it may be impeding the survival of the branch it’s hanging from. See whether any ropes or wires you’re using on your tree are girdling its branches.
  • Branch disease: A branch that isn’t doing well may indicate a disease that has spread throughout the tree. When determining the possible need for pruning, assess the bark and fragility of the branches to see whether the tree has any sort of visible infection.

When Should I Cut Dead Branches?

Cutting deadwood from trees is an ordeal you should only undertake if it’s best for the tree. If your tree is the fruit-bearing type, pruning can help increase your fruit yield. There are a few reasons you should cut dead branches from your tree:

  • For tree health: If a branch is doing worse than the rest of the tree, chances are you can remove it without consequence. Infected, infested, or dead branches are of no use to you or the tree. In fact, ignoring a dead branch may put unnecessary stress on the healthy parts of the tree.
  • For aesthetic purposes: Pruning only does harm to the tree if you cut too many branches off. Pruning for aesthetic purposes is acceptable and often encouraged as long as you do so within reason.
  • For safety: Dead branches are no good to anyone, especially if they are holding on stubbornly. A dead branch can block sunlight for other branches or cause damage when it falls — not only to structures beneath the tree but also to any healthy branches it hits on the way down.

Will Dead Branches Grow Back?

The primary reason you should be careful about pruning is that it changes how a tree grows. While dead branch removal for tree health helps rid your tree of useless branches, any branch you remove will never grow back. Instead, the tree closes the branch path to prevent infestation or infection from entering the old wound. Just like when your skin has a cut, any breach in the tree’s bark, including from pruned branches, can pose a risk to the tree’s health. 

How Do You Save a Tree With Dead Branches?

If only a few branches are damaged or decaying, pruning could save the tree’s life. While pruning is a great way to preserve your tree, it’s crucial to follow the right steps to ensure longevity:

  • Evaluate your tree once a month (at most): When checking for dead branches to be pruned, conduct your checks and pruning no more than once a month. The longer you wait, the more time you give your tree to recover. Depending on your tree’s exact situation, this may help the tree regenerate healthy branches while closing off dead or pruned ones.
  • Remove large branches ASAP: If you notice a large branch dying, try to remove it as soon as you can. In addition to the safety risk it poses to you and your property, a large dead branch spreads out a bigger welcome mat for invasive bugs, fungi, and tree diseases to creep in and rot your tree from the inside out.
  • Prune during the end of the growing season: If you can, wait until the tree has entered dormancy before whipping out the pruning shears. During the next budding, the tree will come back stronger once you have made the proper adjustments to its appearance.

Top Tier Trees Can Help With Your Tree Issues

Should you cut dead branches off trees? Yes, but why not leave the task to the professionals? The experts at Top Tier Trees can diagnose common tree removal signs quickly, pruning your tree to perfection or removing it if it’s a danger to your home or property. Get in touch with Top Tier Trees serving Marietta, GA, to get started with your pruning services today.

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