Tree Trimming Mistakes to Avoid

tree pruning mistake

Tree pruning is best left to the pros. It’s dangerous work, climbing high up trees, wielding chainsaws and dropping heavy branches to the ground; and it is sometimes dangerous for the tree too. Trees that are improperly pruned can experience a lifetime of damage.

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

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

  • Healthier trees are sturdier and less likely to cause damage during storms
  • Cared for trees won’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 property

WV Tree Trimming highly encourages trimming trees that are very close to your house or any that are an integral part of your landscape.

Is Tree Pruning Necessary?

It is not necessary. But it is important. Trees are very hardy and grow on their own everywhere in the world, in many different climates and regions, without trimming.

That said, there are a lot of benefits of professional tree trimming, so it’s highly recommended for trees that you care about. 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 task. You are going to need the right tools and a lot of knowledge to guarantee the project is done right. The majority of homeowners don’t have any of these!

But that’s not a problem, because there are several professionals out there who know how to correctly prune trees for an affordable price to you including all arborists throughout West Virginia we team up with!

Below 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 a professional arborist from WV Tree Trimming will know, and that’s exactly why their services are worth paying for!

Trimming Too Much

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

A huge mistake that homeowners make when pruning trees by themselves is trimming too much of the tree all at once. This occurs because they 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 a once. It is easier to do this during a season that the leaves are off, but an experienced arborist will be able to properly trim trees any time of year.

Removing Bark from the Tree

After you cut a tree branch and gravity starts to pull it down, it can tear off bark from the tree trunk right along with it. This exposes the tree’s inner layers, leaving the tree in danger of attracting diseases and making it easier for pests and rodents to find their way in.

To guarantee this doesn’t happen, an arborist makes special cuts underneath big branches before making their final removal cut. Knowing exactly how to place these initial cuts takes pressure off the branch collar and reduces the stress at the exact point of the main cut so the limb doesn’t tear.

Pruning in the Wrong Place

A certified arborist knows exactly where to cut each limb to prevent damage. This cut should be made just beyond the branch collar, the specific place where the branch connects to the trunk.

Cutting 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 structural or aesthetic damage.

Trimming Big Branches

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

Conservative pruning every year guarantees that your tree trimmer only has to remove branches that are 2-3 inches in diameter, which results in a more attractive shape for the tree and less chance 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! During this process, arborists would just cut the top off of the tree to achieve the desired height. It was neither attractive nor was it beneficial for the tree, so the vast majority of arborists do not practice tree topping currently.

During DIY tree pruning, you might think this is an easy way to reduce the height of your tree with just one cut, but once you have cut off the top of a tree, there’s almost no chance that it will ever return to a natural shape.

The Solution? Call WV Tree Trimming

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

Doing this job yourself might seem like a way to save a little money, but you might 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 West Virginia from WV 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 strange shapes that could take years to correct. The tree might look bad for the rest of its life, all because of a single pruning error.

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

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

Avoid all of these tree pruning mistakes and call WV Tree Trimming to speak with a tree care specialist in West Virginia able to devise a plan to ensure your tree continues to blossom and look beautiful for years to come!