Information about cutting back cypresses are very common among homeowners and landscapers alike. However, there is no consensus as to which way to go or how much it will really save money if you decide to do so.
In fact, some experts believe that it may not even make sense to cut down your own cypresses at all. Others say that you should only trim them back if they have grown too large and are blocking the view from one side of your house.
Still others suggest that you shouldn’t trim them at all because they’re already pretty big anyway!
What’s the truth? Is it worth cutting down a cypress tree? Should I bother with any kind of pruning whatsoever? What about the other kinds of trees in my yard? How many should I prune? And what happens if I don’t like what I see when I’m looking through the window?
Well, let’s take a look at some of these questions and more. Let’s start with a little history lesson…
The History Of Cypress Trees
Cypress trees were introduced into North America during the early 1700s by Christopher Columbus. They were originally planted for decoration, but over time they had become a popular choice for landscaping because they grow very quickly and have an impressive size.
The first trees to be raised in the United States were on the coastal shore of South Carolina in 1700. By 1730, these trees were being actively grown in the American colonies, and by 1780, more than 60 million cypress trees had been planted in North America.
They quickly became a popular choice for constructing homes and other buildings due to the fact that they did not suffer from any major diseases and their wood was highly resistant to water. (This is why we see so many of them around old plantations and other historical landmarks in the deep south.)
The cypress tree became very well known during the World Wars because it had an uncanny ability to resist termites. During this time, the tree was actively grown in the southern United States and used as a replacement for wood.
Today, the cypress tree (and it’s close relative the Leyland Cypress) is one of the most popular trees to be found in suburban neighborhoods throughout the country. They grow quickly and have a nice shape, which is why many people decide to trim their cypress trees and (if they are attached to their trees at all) actually consider them part of the family.
However, there may come a time when you will need to cut down your cypress tree. There are many reasons for this.
For example, if you need more light in your home because there are too many trees blocking sunlight from your windows. Or if the tree has a disease or is damaging the integrity of your home. Whatever the reason, you need to make sure that you do it safely and effectively.
Cutting Down A Cypress Tree
Before you cut down your cypress tree, you should have someone on standby in case anything goes wrong. This way, the emergency services can be there immediately if something falls on your house, or if you are injured while cutting it down.
You should also consider whether or not your tree is close enough to power lines that it might fall into them when you cut it down. If this is the case, you may need to call an electrician so that they can turn off your power supply.
This should be done well before you start cutting the tree down.
Now that you have taken all the necessary precautions, you can start to cut your tree down. You will need to rent or borrow a chainsaw for this part of the project and make sure that it is fully functional before you begin.
Be very careful when using a chainsaw because they are extremely dangerous if not used properly.
When you start to cut down the tree, you should start on one of the lower and thinner branches. The best way to do this is to make a series of cuts (about a quarter of the way through the wood) in a crisscross pattern.
Then, once you have done this, you can finish cutting through the branch quickly and easily. Using this method will prevent the branch from breaking in the middle of your chainsaw blade and causing serious injury to yourself.
After you have worked your way up the tree and made sure that it is on its way down, you will need to anchor the chainsaw to your body in some way so that you do not lose control of it while you are climbing the tree.
Try and secure it around your body with a tool belt or put it in a tool bag and hook that to your body. Whichever method you choose, make sure that you are securely attached to the chainsaw before you climb the tree any more.
When you reach the upper branches of the tree, you should use a step-ladder to give you better reach. As always, be very careful when using a ladder because it is a very dangerous object if not used properly.
After you have finished cutting the branches off the tree, it will most likely start to lean. This leaning process may take a while so once again you should make sure that there is someone around in case the tree falls on the wrong side of your house.
Once your tree has fallen, it is time to think about cutting it up into manageable pieces. A chainsaw is handy for this task as well since it makes the job a lot quicker and easier, but be very careful when using one near the logs because it is easy to accidentally cut yourself or another limb off.
You can stack the logs neatly so that they will be easier to haul away later or you can split them into firewood right now using an axe or maul. It is a good idea to build yourself a storage pit for your firewood so that you do not have to keep it in your own home.
Finally, you will need to remove all of the branches and other pieces of wood that you do not want. Many people just burn these branches in their own fireplaces to warm their home, but you may want to consider selling these off as kindling or using them yourself for your own personal projects.
Once you have removed all of the unnecessary wood from the tree, you can then load it into your truck or car and take it to a recycling centre that will accept it. Be sure to ask whether they will purchase it from you first before going to all the trouble of hauling it there.
Some recycling yards will also purchase the recycled wood from you if you do not have the energy or desire to go through the process of hauling it there yourself. If you choose to sell it yourself, you will be able to get a better price for it.
Once again, make sure that you are wearing eye protection and using a chainsaw with extreme care. Also, be sure to clean your blade after each cut to ensure that it will not get stuck or stop working when you need it most.
You have now learned how to remove a tree from your property without having it fall in the wrong location. Hiring a professional could cost you a lot of money and you may not even get the results that you really wanted, but with a little work and elbow grease, you can do it yourself and save a small fortune in the process.
Sources & references used in this article:
The southern cypress by WR Mattoon – 1915 – books.google.com
Community structure, dynamics and nutrient cycling in the Okefenokee cypress swamp‐forest by WH Schlesinger – Ecological Monographs, 1978 – Wiley Online Library
Ecosystem dynamics and a phosphorus budget of an alluvial cypress swamp in southern Illinois by WJ Mitsch, CL Dorage, JR Wiemhoff – Ecology, 1979 – Wiley Online Library
Natural and management-related variation in cypress domes by KC Marois, KC Ewel – Forest Science, 1983 – academic.oup.com
Power trim by JJM Dickenson, RE Dickenson – US Patent 2,299,129, 1942 – Google Patents
Cypress in New Orleans: revisiting the observations of Le Page du Pratz by CE Colten – Louisiana History: The Journal of the Louisiana …, 2003 – JSTOR
Fire in cypress swamps in the Southeastern United States by KC Ewel – Fire in wetlands: a management perspective …, 1995 – talltimbers.org