Tree Trimming Mistakes to Avoid

tree pruning mistake

Tree trimming is best left to the pros. It’s a dangerous job, climbing high up trees, wielding chainsaws and lowering heavy branches to the ground; and it can be dangerous for the tree too. Trees that aren’t pruned properly can sustain a lifetime of issues.

Instead of putting yourself in harm’s way and the tree at risk, call someone who is trained and experienced to do the job for you.

This will lead to stronger trees and a safer environment surrounding your home for many reasons:

  • Healthy trees are sturdier and not as likely to cause damage during severe storms
  • Maintained trees don’t attract or spread diseases and parasites
  • Pruned trees grow more flowers or fruit
  • Pruned trees provide shade and allow air to flow throughout their canopies and your landscaping

VT Tree Trimming highly recommends trimming trees that are very close to your home or any that are a focus of your landscape.

Is Tree Trimming Necessary?

It is not necessary. But it is beneficial. Trees are resilient and can grow on their own everywhere in the world, in many different climates and locations, without pruning.

However, there are several benefits of professional tree pruning, so it’s recommended for trees that you value. This includes sentimental trees, fruit trees and blossoming trees or trees that perform an important job for your house, such as shade or home to wildlife.

Tree Trimming Gone Wrong

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

But that’s not a problem, because there are many arborists out there who know exactly how to properly trim trees for an affordable price to you including all of the certified arborists throughout Vermont we partner with!

Below are the 5 most common mistakes people make when attempting DIY tree trimming that can lead to several tree problems. These are things that a professional arborist from VT Tree Trimming will know, and that’s the reason why their services are worth the price!

Trimming Too Much

When done properly, tree pruning is a never-ending process. Starting when your trees are only 2 or 3 years old, they should be trimmed by a professional if you value them and intend to keep them healthy.

A big mistake that homeowners often make when trimming trees themselves is cutting too much of the tree at a time. This happens because they have let the tree’s growth get out of hand and try to fix it all immediately. Ideally, you should not cut off more than 5-20% of the tree’s crown at the actual removal cut. It is a lot easier to do this during a time of year that the leaves are off, but an experienced arborist will be able to safely prune trees any time of year.

Cutting at the Wrong Place

An experienced tree specialist knows where to cut each limb to protect against damage. This cut should occur just beyond the branch collar, the exact place where the branch connects to the trunk.

Trimming too close to the branch collar exposes the tree to pests and decay. Cutting too far from it leaves an unsightly stump when the tree has recovered. Most DIY tree pruning results in an improper cut, leaving either aesthetic or structural problems.

Trimming Large Branches

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

Conservative trimming annually guarantees that the tree service company only has to remove branches that are 2-3 inches in diameter, which produces a more attractive shape for the tree and less risk of damaging the tree or exposing it to decay and pests.

Topping the Tree

Tree topping is an outdated type of pruning, and for good reason! In this service, tree trimming companies would just cut the top off of the tree to achieve the desired height. It was not attractive nor was it beneficial for the tree, so the vast majority of arborists do not practice tree topping anymore.

As a DIY tree pruning, you may think this is a good way to reduce the height of your tree with only one cut, but once you have cut the top of a tree off, there’s virtually no chance that it will ever regain a natural shape.

The Solution? Call VT Tree Trimming

Here’s the truth. Your tree may never recover from poor trimming.

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

Limbs aren’t going to grow back. The tree will grow more, but it will not grow back in the same places, which leads to odd shapes that could take years to correct. The tree might look bad for the remainder of its life, all because of a single trimming error.

Bad trimming could also cause death of the tree. Cutting off too many branches (and, therefore, leaves) can alter the tree’s photosynthesis process, meaning it won’t get enough water or enough carbon dioxide and sunlight to continue growing.

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

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