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 dropping heavy tree limbs to the ground; and it can also be dangerous for the tree as well. Trees that are improperly pruned can suffer from a lifetime of issues.

Instead of putting yourself in harm’s way and the tree itself at risk, call an arborist who is knowledgeable and experienced to do it for you.

This will lead to much healthier trees and a safer environment around your house 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 produce more flowers or fruit
  • Trimmed trees create shade while still allowing air to flow throughout their canopies and your landscaping

RI Tree Trimming strongly suggests trimming trees that are near your home or those that are a focus of your landscape.

Is Tree Trimming Necessary?

It is not necessary. But it is beneficial. Trees are very strong and are able to survive on their own across the world, in many different climates and locations, without being trimmed.

However, there are a lot of benefits of professional tree pruning, so it’s recommended for any trees that you value. This can include sentimental trees, fruit trees and flowering trees or trees that perform an important job for your home, such as shade or wildlife habitat.

Tree Trimming Gone Wrong

Tree pruning is a complex project. You need the right tools and a lot of information to guarantee the job is done correctly. 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 how to properly prune trees for an affordable price to you including all of the certified arborists throughout Rhode Island we team up with!

Here are the 5 mistakes homeowners make when attempting DIY tree trimming that can lead to many tree problems. These are things that a professional arborist from RI Tree Trimming will know, and that’s why their services are worth paying for!

Pruning Too Much

When done correctly, tree pruning is an ongoing process. Starting when your trees are just 2 or 3 years old, they should be maintained by an expert if you care about them and want to keep them healthy.

A big mistake that homeowners make when pruning trees themselves is trimming 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 final removal cut. It is 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 exactly where to trim each limb to protect against damage. This cut should be done just beyond the branch collar, the specific place where the branch connects to the tree trunk.

Cutting 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 recovers. Most DIY tree trimming results in an improper cut, leaving either structural or aesthetic problems.

Trimming Big Branches

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

Conservative trimming once each year ensures that the tree service company only has to cut off 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 cut the top off of the tree to achieve the desired height. It was not attractive nor beneficial for the tree, so the vast majority of tree care companies do not practice tree topping currently.

As a DIY tree pruning, you might think this is an easy 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 RI Tree Trimming

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

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

Limbs aren’t going to grow back. The tree will grow more, but not in the same places, which can result in strange shapes that could require years to fix. The tree could end up looking bad for the remainder of its life, all because of just one trimming mistake.

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

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

Avoid all of these tree trimming mistakes and call RI Tree Trimming to speak with a tree care specialist in Rhode Island able to come up with a long-term plan to ensure your tree continues blossoming and looking beautiful for years to come!