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DIY – How to Trim Tree Branches Yourself

Most homeowners are confident they are giving their trees the best care to thrive and stay healthy. Water, fertilizer, and mulch right on schedule.

Trim Tree Branches

However, tree branch trimming can be very intimidating to the average person. While big pruning tasks should be left to the professionals, pruning small trees and branches is perfectly safe and manageable for the average person.

First, know when DIY tree trimming is appropriate, and when it’s not. If you want to prune a small tree that has lightweight branches, go for it. However, think twice about pruning a tree that’s near a power line, large branches overhanging your roof, or if the branches are too heavy for you to easily handle.

If you’ve decided to go ahead, just start with a little DIY tree branch trimming. First, you’ll need to understand the parts of the tree and branch. The branch collar is the enlarged area at the base of the branch that connects it to the tree. The branch bark ridge is between the tree trunk and the branch; it’s raised a little higher than the branch.

Make sure your pruning tools are clean and sharp. Make a cut on the far side the branch collar; don’t cut the branch collar itself but make the cut close enough not to leave a nub.

For a thin branch, one inch or less in diameter, cut just above the branch collar at a 45-degree angle to the bark ridge.

For a thick branch, cut it in three sections. First, cut through the branch halfway, about a foot up from the branch collar. Next, cut a few inches beyond that cut, letting the top of the branch fall to the ground. Finally, make the last cut just above the branch collar.

Trimming the Whole Tree

When trimming a tree, the procedure for trimming the branches is the same, but there are other factors that need to be considered.

First, you’ll need to plan out the branches you want to keep, and the ones that need to be cut. You shouldn’t cut more than 25% of a tree’s branches at one time. Imagine your tree’s branches like a clock; keep the branches at a 2 o’clock or 10 o’clock and trim any branches growing at odd angles. Also, remove any branches growing crosswise into the inside of the tree.

Cut off growth coming from the base of the trunk or the roots, and prune away any dead branches. Trim away any stringy looking weak branches growing upright in clusters.

How Tree Trimming Gone Wrong can Kill Your Tree

While one bad cut won’t kill your tree, regular bad pruning can.

If you repeatedly cut off too many branches at one time, it will weaken your tree. Your tree can even die from stress. That’s the reason why you should never trim off more than 25% of your tree’s branches at any one time.

Likewise, cutting into the branch collar can be a big mistake. The branch collar will help …

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Is your Water Environmentally Friendly?

You’re ticking all the boxes: you recycle, you have a dozen bags for life, you’ve got all sorts of insulation, you switch off your power at the wall and you do everything you can to conserve energy and reduce your carbon footprint, right? Well, what about water? And we’re not talking single-use plastic bottled water, or glass water filters here. We’re talking about the very veins that run around your home.

Is your Water Environmentally Friendly?

Water Consumption & Saving

There’s the debate about whether or not you could save money and be more water-conscious on a water meter rather than your run-of-the-mill direct debit solution. The arguments are pretty clear: For a larger household with 3-4 (plus) residents with a higher rate of water consumption, a direct debit payment system is usually suitable. But for a single home-owner with a full time job out of the house, a water meter could be a lower cost solution, and it also encourages us to be more conscious of the amount of water we are using. It’s on a meter after all.

There are also a few simple rules when it comes to being water-smart. For example, opt for a quick shower over a long soak in the tub. But do make sure the shower isn’t a lengthy one, or you could end up using more water than it would take to fill the bath. It’s surprising how much water we can use just to enjoy a warm shower on a morning before work. Wash your veg in a bowl of water rather than under the tap, and similarly turn off the tap while brushing your teeth. Every little bit helps.

In the colder months

OK, let’s face it, most months are the colder months in the UK. We consume more energy with heating and hot water in winter because we want to be warm. And insulation is a key factor too. People insulate their walls and their lofts to ensure that heating bills are kept to a minimum, and that our homes are running more efficiently in the colder weather. But when it comes to water, it’s the pipe insulation that is key. An often overlooked way to add a bit of depth to your eco-friendly way of life is to ensure the correct insulation on your water pipes.

Being Water-Smart

Overall, it pays to be water-conscious, and there are many simple steps we can all take in our day to day lives in order to reduce the amount of water we need, and to get the most from our heating and cooling systems so as to not over-use household energy. But looking at options to go that little bit further towards economical water usage can be a smarter way to make your household that little bit more energy efficient. …

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