Tree Trimming Mistakes to Avoid

tree pruning mistake

Tree pruning is best left to professionals. It’s a dangerous job, climbing trees, using chainsaws and lowering heavy tree limbs to the ground; and it can be dangerous for the tree too. Trees that are improperly pruned can suffer from a lifetime of problems.

Rather than putting yourself and putting the tree itself at risk, find someone who is trained and experienced to do the job for you.

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

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

SD Tree Trimming strongly encourages pruning trees that are near your house or all that are a focus of your landscape.

Is Tree Trimming Necessary?

It is not required. But it is important. Trees are hardy and are able to grow on their own all over the world, in various different climates and locations, without trimming.

That said, there are several benefits of professional tree trimming, so it’s recommended for any trees that you care about. This can include sentimental trees, fruit trees and flowering trees or trees that offer an important job for your house, such as shade or wildlife habitat.

Tree Trimming Gone Wrong

Trimming a tree is a difficult task. You are going to need the right equipment and a lot of information 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 plenty of services out there who know how to correctly trim trees for an affordable price to you including all of the certified arborists throughout South Dakota we team up with!

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

Pruning Too Much

When done properly, trimming is an ongoing process. Beginning when your trees are just 2 or 3 years old, they should be looked after by an expert if you value them and intend to keep them healthy.

A big mistake that homeowners often make when pruning trees themselves is trimming too much of the tree at a time. This happens because they let the tree’s growth get out of control and try to fix it all immediately. Ideally, you should only cut off 5-20% of the tree’s crown at the actual removal cut. It is a lot easier to do this during a season that the leaves are off, but an experienced arborist is able to properly prune trees any time of year.

Pruning in the Wrong Place

A certified arborist knows exactly where to trim each limb to protect against damage. This cut should be made 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 pests and decay. Cutting too far away from it leaves an unsightly stump when the tree has recovered. Most DIY tree pruning leads to an improper cut, leaving either structural or aesthetic damage.

Trimming 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 insects and decay as the tree recovers from losing such a large branch.

Conservative trimming annually ensures that your tree trimmer only has to cut off branches that are 2-3 inches in diameter, which leads to a more attractive shape for the tree and less risk of harming the tree or exposing it to decay and insects.

Topping the Tree

Tree topping is an outdated type of pruning, and for good reason! In this service, tree trimmers 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 vast majority of tree care companies do not practice tree topping currently.

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

The Solution? Call SD Tree Trimming

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

Attempting this job yourself might seem like a way to save money, but you might end up with way more expenses trying to revive damaged trees, so it’s really safer (and more economical in the long run) to hire a certified arborist in South Dakota from SD 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 can lead to strange shapes that might take years to fix. The tree could end up looking bad for the remainder of its life, all because of just one trimming error.

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

Cutting too many branches could also send the tree into a state of shock. Shock can be overcome, but it takes a great deal of care and patience. Even with proper care, a tree undergoing shock may still die.

Avoid all of these tree trimming mistakes and call SD Tree Trimming to speak with a tree care specialist in South Dakota able to customize a plan to ensure your tree continues to blossom and look beautiful for years to come!