A Guide to Pruning Mature Trees

Do you have mature trees on your property? Here is the correct way to prune them!


Photo: Zeterre Landscape Archtiecture

Mature trees are a thing of beauty, and they provide us with essential shading and wind cover, yet, much like young trees, a large tree does require regular care and attention. When pruning a mature tree, it is important that you do not injure the tree, especially as older trees find it hard to recover from excessive pruning, and with that in mind, here are a few tips from the professionals on how best to care for mature trees.

Removing Dead Wood – The first thing to do with a mature tree is to remove any dead or decaying branches. While tree lopping in Perth seems to be popular, there are other options, which do not damage the tree, and by talking to an experienced tree surgeon, you can make an informed decision on the best way forward.

Prune in the Autumn – This is the best time to prune mature trees, as it gives the tree time to recover before the next growing season the following spring. One goal when pruning is to shape the tree, but one must be careful not to trim back too much, as this can hinder normal growth.

Never Prune Flush with the Trunk – When removing branches that are attached directly to the trunk, you should never cut the branch flush to the trunk, as this will harm the tree. Rather make a small cut to the underside of the branch about 6 inches from the trunk, then once the branch is removed, cut a further 2 inches from the stump, which still leaves a few inches protruding from the trunk.

Safety First – Unless you are experienced at pruning mature trees, you are advised to call in an arborist, who has both the know-how and equipment to safely carry out the pruning. If you have a few mature trees on your property, call in a tree surgeon at the end of the summer, and he can prune them all in a single visit. There are many accidents when homeowners decide to climb a tree to prune it, and if you are not an experienced climber, you could cause yourself a serious injury by doing so.

The Right Equipment – Pruning a mature tree is only possible if you have the right equipment, which would include a long pruning saw, and if you are going to work at height, you should have a sturdy ladder, as well as a head for heights. Prior to making any cuts, make sure that the branch you are going to remove will not damage anything on its way down.

One practice that is often recommended is tree lopping, yet in most cases, this will damage the tree, and lopping should only be considered if there are no other options. Any good arborist would avoid lopping a mature tree whenever possible, as very often, the tree cannot recover from such major treatment, and will subsequently die.

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Ensure Your Home is Well Ventilated with an MVHR System

Ensuring your home is well ventilated is vital for a healthy home. In fact, failing to do so can lead to issues with mould and condensation, which are not only unsightly – and a pain to treat – but can also lead to a range of health issues like asthma.


Photo: Chic Home Interiors

Ventilation helps to remove stale air from the inside of your home and replenish it with fresh air from the outside. This is done through both uncontrolled ventilation, and controlled ventilation – such as with an MVHR system. We are going to look at these two methods in this article, and explain why an MVHR system is a good choice.

Uncontrolled Ventilation

Uncontrolled ventilation is something that is installed when a property is first built. The most common forms of uncontrolled ventilation are trickle vents and airbricks, as both comply with building regulations and are cheap to install. However, while they are useful in some situations, they do have some negative points, including:

* Trickle vents need to be permanently left in an ‘open’ position to provide adequate ventilation.

* Internal doors need to be kept open to allow air to move through the home.

* Airbricks can, over time, get blocked by debris, dirt and vegetation located outside the home. Inside the home, furniture and curtains can block them.

* Ventilation depends on the wind. When it’s blowing hard, the home can become ‘over-ventilated’, and when it’s not blowing at all, there won’t be any ventilation.

* Uncontrolled ventilation can lead to odours and moist air spreading around the home. This can lead to mould and dust mites being spread, and can even impact the integrity of building materials.

Controlled Ventilation

Controlled ventilation is when an activated ventilation system is installed in the property in order to automatically move air around. These tend to be the better option as they don’t rely on outside influences, and don’t have the same requirements as uncontrolled systems in order to work as intended.

BPC Ventilation units are one of the best examples of this, and they’ve become incredibly popular with those self-building their homes over the past decade. MVHR systems ensure your home maintains a healthy air environment while also ensuring no heat is lost from the property. It is because of this that they are both environmentally friendly, and more useful for homeowners who live in moderate and cold climates. Homes do, however, need to be suitably airtight in order for an MVHR system to work as intended.

In addition to the benefits described above, MVHR systems are also more useful than uncontrolled ventilation systems for those with allergies, as they can help to remove airborne allergens such as mould spores and pollen. This makes them a top choice for allergy sufferers. That said, it must be pointed out that it can be hard to install an MVHR system into an existing property. It’s best to speak to a professional to see if it can be done.

Ventilation is something that many homeowners these days are concerned about, and MVHR systems could be the ideal solution.

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