Tree Trimming Mistakes to Avoid

tree pruning mistake

Tree pruning is best left to the pros. It’s dangerous work, climbing trees, using chainsaws and dropping heavy tree limbs to the ground; and it is sometimes dangerous for the tree too. Trees that aren’t pruned correctly can suffer from a lifetime of problems.

Rather than putting yourself and the tree at risk, hire someone who is knowledgeable and experienced to do it for you.

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

  • Healthy trees are stronger and less likely to cause damage during severe storms
  • Cared for trees won’t attract or spread parasites and diseases
  • Trimmed trees produce more flowers or fruit
  • Pruned trees offer shade and allow air to flow through their canopies and your property

MA Tree Trimming highly encourages trimming trees that are very close to your home or those that are an integral part of your landscape.

Is Tree Pruning Necessary?

It is not required. But it is beneficial. Trees are hardy and can grow on their own across the world, in many different climates and locations, without being pruned.

However, there are a lot of benefits of professional tree trimming, so it’s recommended for any trees that you care about. This includes sentimental trees, fruit trees and flowering trees or trees that offer an important service for your home, such as shade or wildlife habitat.

Tree Pruning Gone Wrong

Tree pruning is a complicated task. You need the correct equipment and a lot of knowledge to guarantee the project is done correctly. The vast majority of homeowners don’t have any of these!

But that’s not a problem, because there are plenty of companies available who know how to properly trim trees for an affordable price to you including all arborists throughout Massachusetts we work with!

Here are the 5 most common mistakes people make when they attempt DIY tree pruning that can lead to many tree problems. These are things that an experienced arborist from MA 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 trimming is a never-ending process. Beginning when your trees are only 2 or 3 years old, they should be trimmed by an expert if you care about them and intend to keep them healthy.

A huge mistake people often make when trimming trees themselves is cutting too much of the tree at a time. This happens 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 time. It is much easier to do this during a season that there are no leaves, but a certified arborist is able to properly prune trees any time of year.

Removing Bark from the Tree

When you cut a tree limb and gravity starts to pull 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 stop this from occurring, an arborist makes special cuts beneath large branches before making their actual removal cut. Knowing how to place these small cuts takes pressure off the branch collar and limits the stress at the exact point of the main cut so the branch doesn’t rip.

Pruning in the Wrong Place

A trained tree specialist knows where to cut each limb to protect against damage. This cut should be done just beyond the branch collar, the exact place where the branch connects to the tree trunk.

Trimming too close to the branch collar exposes the tree to insects, decay and mildew. Cutting too far from it leaves a stump when the tree has recovered. Most DIY tree pruning leads to an improper cut, leaving either aesthetic or structural damage.

Pruning Big Branches

Branches any larger than 4 inches in diameter shouldn’t be pruned 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 pruning every year guarantees 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 damaging the tree or exposing it to disease and insects.

Topping the Tree

Tree topping is no longer a type of pruning, and for good reason! With this process, tree trimming companies would just 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.

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

The Solution? Call MA Tree Trimming

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

Attempting this job 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 much safer (and more economical in the long run) to hire a certified arborist in Massachusetts from MA Tree Trimming.

Limbs will not grow back. The tree will grow more, but not in the same places, which causes strange shapes that could take years to fix. The tree might end up looking bad for the rest of its life, all because of a single trimming error.

Bad pruning could also lead to death of the tree. Removing too many limbs (and, therefore, leaves) can alter the tree’s photosynthesis process, which means it won’t get all of the water it needs or enough sunlight and carbon dioxide to continue growing.

Cutting too many branches might also send the tree into a state of shock. Shock can be overcome, but it takes a lot 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 MA Tree Trimming to speak with a tree care specialist in Massachusetts able to come up with a long-term plan to ensure your tree continues to blossom and look beautiful for years to come!