Tree Trimming Mistakes to Avoid

tree pruning mistake

Tree pruning is best left to the pros. It’s a dangerous job, climbing trees, using chainsaws and lowering heavy tree limbs to the ground; and it can also be dangerous for the tree as well. Trees that are improperly pruned can experience a lifetime of issues.

Rather than putting yourself in harm’s way and the tree at risk, find an arborist who is knowledgeable and experienced to do it for you.

This will result in much stronger trees and a safer environment surrounding your landscaping for many reasons:

  • Healthy trees are sturdier and not as likely to cause damage during storms
  • Cared for trees won’t attract or spread parasites and diseases
  • Pruned trees grow more flowers or fruit
  • Pruned trees create shade and allow air to flow throughout their canopies and your property

UT Tree Trimming highly recommends trimming trees that are near your home or all that are a focus of your landscape.

Is Tree Trimming Necessary?

It is not required. But it is important. Trees are very resilient and can survive on their own across the world, in a variety of different climates and locations, without trimming.

That said, there are many benefits of tree trimming, so it’s highly recommended for any trees that you care about. This includes sentimental trees, fruit trees and blossoming trees or trees that perform an important service for your house, such as shade or home to wildlife.

Tree Trimming Gone Wrong

Pruning a tree is a complicated task. You need the right tools and a lot of knowledge to guarantee the project is done right. The majority of homeowners don’t have either of these!

But that’s OK, because there are plenty of services available who know how to properly trim trees for an affordable cost to you including all of the certified arborists in Utah we work with!

Here are the 5 most common mistakes homeowners make when they attempt DIY tree pruning that can lead to several tree problems. These are things that a certified arborist from UT Tree Trimming will know, and that’s the reason why their services are worth paying for!

Trimming Too Much

When done the right way, tree pruning is a never-ending process. Beginning when your trees are just 2 or 3 years old, they should be care for by an arborist if you value them and desire to keep them strong and healthy.

A huge mistake people often make when pruning trees themselves is cutting too much of the tree at a time. This occurs because they let the tree’s growth get out of control and try to correct it all immediately. Ideally, you should only cut off 5-20% of the tree’s crown at a once. It is easier to do this during a time of year that there are no leaves, but an experienced arborist will be able to properly prune trees any time of year.

Removing Bark from the Tree

After you cut a tree limb and gravity starts pulling it down, it can rip bark from the tree trunk right along with it. This exposes the tree’s inner layers, putting the tree in danger of contracting diseases and making it easier for insects to scurry their way in.

To ensure this doesn’t happen, an arborist will make special cuts underneath big branches before making their actual removal cut. Knowing how to place these small cuts takes pressure off the branch collar and reduces the stress at the exact point of the main cut so the branch doesn’t tear.

Pruning in the Wrong Place

A trained arborist knows where to trim each limb to protect against damage. This cut should occur just beyond the branch collar, the specific place where the branch connects to the trunk.

Trimming too close to the branch collar exposes the tree to insects, decay and mildew. Cutting too far away from it leaves an unsightly stump when the tree recovers. Most DIY tree trimming leads to an improper cut, leaving either structural or aesthetic issues.

Trimming Large Branches

Branches larger than 4 inches in diameter really shouldn’t be trimmed unless it is necessary. Cutting off a branch of this size can lead to imbalance in the tree and expose it to pests and rodents and rot as the tree recovers from losing such a large branch.

Conservative trimming once each year ensures that your tree trimmer only has to remove branches that are 2-3 inches in diameter, which produces a more attractive shape for the tree and less chance of hurting the tree or exposing it to disease and insects.

Topping the Tree

Tree topping is an outdated type of pruning, and for good reason! In this service, tree trimmers would cut the top off of the tree to get the desired height. It was neither attractive nor was it beneficial for the tree, so the majority of tree care companies do not practice tree topping currently.

During DIY tree pruning, you may think this is a good way to lower the height of your tree with just a single cut, but once you have cut off the top of a tree, there’s almost no chance it will ever regain a natural shape.

The Solution? Call UT Tree Trimming

Let’s face it. Your tree may never recover from poor pruning.

Performing this project yourself might seem like a way to save money, but you could end up with way more cost trying to revive damaged trees, so it’s a lot safer (and more economical in the long run) to hire a certified arborist in Utah from UT Tree Trimming.

Limbs don’t grow back. The tree will grow more, but it will not grow back in the same places, which can lead results in strange shapes that might require years to correct. The tree might end up looking bad for the rest of its life, all because of a single trimming mistake.

Bad pruning could also result in death of the tree. Cutting off too many limbs (and, therefore, leaves) can inhibit the tree’s photosynthesis process, meaning it won’t get all of the water it needs or enough carbon dioxide and sunlight to continue growing.

Cutting too many branches can also send the tree into a state of shock. Shock isn’t necessarily permanent, but it takes a great deal of patience and care. Even with the right maintenance, a tree undergoing shock may still die.

Avoid all of these tree pruning mistakes and call UT Tree Trimming to speak with a tree care specialist in Utah able to devise a long-term plan to ensure your tree continues to blossom and look beautiful for years to come!