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Is it safe

... to trim back the trees

Female
Gilpin  Female  Middlesex 16-May-2019 16:08 Message #4740239
Or is it still nesting season. for garden birds

I have some conifers going in a straight line down the side of the garden. And they have overgrown the path and need to be trimmed back. But with the happy chirping of birds in the mornings, I'm wondering how many might still be nesting in the trees.

Would anyone know how long they take to leave the nest.
Male
mancers  Male  Greater Manchester 16-May-2019 17:27 Message #4740244
Shake the tree if they don’t fly away their still nesting.
Female
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 16-May-2019 18:47 Message #4740254
Unless its just a bit of light pruning I'd leave it for at least another 6 weeks, maybe take enough off so as you can use the path but leave a big cut until later in the year?
Male
warmundeft  Male  Wrexham 16-May-2019 20:26 Message #4740257
Fair number of fledglings around in this area right now.
As you start to reclaim your pathway (presumably by hand and not with power tools) you will become aware of any nests that are best avoided.
Like 'hen says, a little reduction now followed by more over the next couple of months. Not only do you avoid giving the tree a big shock, but you spread the load of disposal of clippings.
Maybe another session later in the year will keep your pathway shaped so that it's convenient for you to use - and birds can then nest next year (if they choose to) among the foliage that you leave untrimmed.
Female
Gilpin  Female  Middlesex 16-May-2019 20:54 Message #4740258
Yes, I think a light trim it'll have to be then, just to keep it back. A good idea. And that would avoid any nests, as the branches sticking out would not hold a nest. It's power tools I'm afraid, there's 8 of them though not very high. Sometimes the birds nest but not always, you see them sweeping in there but they're quick and you don't always see them.

Thanks for your help.
Female
Andromeda  Female  Berkshire 17-May-2019 11:26 Message #4740300
I was told to avoid cutting between May and August to protect the nests.
Female
leogirl  Female  Essex 17-May-2019 11:33 Message #4740301
GILPIN
I trimmed back an early flowering clematis with thick foliage . A pigeon flew out , knocked my glasses off , AND shat on my face .
It gave me a fright and a half. Luckily I wore my old gardening glasses as one lens is badly scratched.

leogirl.
Female
justfem  Female  Cambridgeshire 18-May-2019 00:58 Message #4740358
From what I remember the best time to trim things back is when they are dormant, usually Dec-Feb.
Male
warmundeft  Male  Wrexham 18-May-2019 12:16 Message #4740376
As with many a job, the best time to trim anything back is when the tool to do it with is in your hands.
Stuff has an urge to grow, and is unlikely to come to much harm regardless of the season, although whether the resultant new growth might suffer frost damage is a reasonable consideration.
Just a further thought concerning isolated, 'sticky-out' shoots, branches - when approached by powered hedge trimmers, most get a bit hacked and not clean cut unless there is other foliage backing it to prevent retreat - hence my preference for using hand-tools in the situation that Gilpin described. But 'twould be good to learn how the experience actually turned out
Female
Gilpin  Female  Middlesex 18-May-2019 15:40 Message #4740395
Leogirl

I trimmed back an early flowering clematis with thick foliage . A pigeon flew out , knocked my glasses off , AND shat on my face .
It gave me a fright and a half. Luckily I wore my old gardening glasses as one lens is badly scratched.
……….

Jeez. That must have been a mega fright, they're not a small bird. It's produced a good tip though, to rustle thick foliage before starting to cut. And stand well back.
Female
Gilpin  Female  Middlesex 18-May-2019 15:53 Message #4740396
Warmundft

As with many a job, the best time to trim anything back is when the tool to do it with is in your hands.
Stuff has an urge to grow, and is unlikely to come to much harm regardless of the season, although whether the resultant new growth might suffer frost damage is a reasonable consideration.
Just a further thought concerning isolated, 'sticky-out' shoots, branches - when approached by powered hedge trimmers, most get a bit hacked and not clean cut unless there is other foliage backing it to prevent retreat - hence my preference for using hand-tools in the situation that Gilpin described. But 'twould be good to learn how the experience actually turned out
………..

Conifers don't like being cut too close, near to the trunk. Especially with a hedge cutter. It can kill the regrowth, and show as a brown patch, so I tend to trim without getting too close to the thicker layer. But with nesters I don't like to do it at all.

I once had them all topped professionally to 12-15ft, and it was awful to see quite a few birds return and swoop back and forth and there were no trees. So I think I'll just trim up the sticky out bits, and that's when I get round to it.


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