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Tips on what to look for, how to shape up trees on your property

Keeping trees properly trimmed and shaped is an important aspect of protecting a person’s home and other property. But there can be a lot to take into consideration when deciding when, how much or if a tree even needs to be trimmed.

Here’s a few helpful tips when it comes to shaping up the trees on your property.

Avoid structural damage

According to Matt Brand, owner of Albert Lea Tree Service, even smaller branches can do a significant amount of damage to property.

“It doesn’t take much of a branch to rub your shingles away, and roofs are expensive,” Brand said. “It can also be bad for the health of the tree. You get that open wound, you get a canker, that’s a site of entry for disease and insects.”

What should I look for?

There are a few things property owners can look for in knowing when a tree should be trimmed. Dead branches still attached but hanging down, limbs getting bunched up or getting too close to structures can be a good sign to think about trimming.

Brand said two of the biggest indicators are when limbs from trees start to rub together and anytime branches get within a couple feet of the home without the canopy.

“Once the canopy comes in, it can hold a lot of moisture,” Brand said. “Which can cause mold and moss to grow on the roof and it will fill up your gutters, and problems can come from that. Water issues are a big deal.”

A dead branch that is still attached but hanging can be a hazard to anything that might happen to be under it when it falls. Calling in a professional to trim that up can help avoid damages. Tyler Julson/Albert Lea Tribune

What can I do myself?

Brand said home owners should avoid doing the work themselves and call in a professional anytime there are large branches involved or the work requires a person to leave the ground. Even if the work requires just a ladder, Brand recommends bringing in a professional.

“With taller stuff, don’t ever work from a ladder,” Brand said. “They do have some good ground tools now. If you’re comfortable, if you have the capabilities, you can take care of that.”

He also said to be mindful of how much you are cutting off. What looks like a small bunch of branches up in the tree, can sometimes be a lot bigger than what it seems once it’s on the ground.

If in doubt, call in a professional.

“We’ve got highly trained guys, we carry the insurance, we’re certified arborists,” Brand said.

Improving the value of a home

Brand said there have been studies performed that showed a nice aesthetic on the outside of a home can raise the value of a home by a significant amount.