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 dropping heavy tree limbs to the ground; and it is sometimes dangerous for the tree as well. Trees that are improperly pruned can experience a lifetime of problems.

Instead of putting yourself and putting the tree itself at risk, enlist a professional who is knowledgeable and experienced to do the job for you.

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

  • Healthier trees are stronger and less likely to cause damage during severe storms
  • Maintained trees don’t attract or spread parasites and diseases
  • Pruned trees grow more flowers or fruit
  • Pruned trees provide shade and allow air to flow throughout their canopies and your property

ME Tree Trimming strongly encourages trimming trees that are very close to your home or all that are an integral part of your property.

Is Tree Pruning Necessary?

It is not necessary. But it is beneficial. Trees are very strong and can survive on their own across the world, in various different climates and regions, without being pruned.

However, there are many benefits of professional tree pruning, so it’s highly recommended for any trees that you care about. This includes sentimental trees, fruit trees and flowering trees or trees that perform an important service for your house, such as shade or home to wildlife.

Tree Trimming Gone Wrong

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

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

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

Trimming Too Much

When done correctly, trimming is an ongoing process. Beginning when your trees are only 2 or 3 years old, they should be looked after by a professional if you value them and want to keep them strong and healthy.

A huge mistake that homeowners often make when trimming trees by themselves is cutting too much of the tree all at once. This occurs because they let the tree’s growth get out of control and try to fix it all at once. Ideally, you should only cut off 5-20% of the tree’s crown at a time. It is easier to do this during a time of year that there are no leaves, but an experienced arborist will be able to safely prune trees any time of year.

Removing Tree Bark

After you cut a tree branch 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, 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 will make special cuts underneath larger branches before making their final removal cut. Knowing 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 tree limb doesn’t tear.

Pruning in the Wrong Place

A trained tree specialist knows where to trim 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.

Cutting too close to the branch collar exposes the tree to pests and decay. Cutting too far from it leaves a stump when the tree recovers. Most DIY tree trimming leads to an improper cut, leaving either aesthetic or structural damage.

Pruning Big Branches

Branches larger than 4 inches in diameter shouldn’t be pruned unless it is absolutely necessary. Cutting off a branch of this size 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 pruning every year ensures that the company only has to remove branches that are 2-3 inches in diameter, which leads to a more attractive shape for the tree and less chance of hurting the tree or exposing it to decay and insects.

Topping the Tree

Tree topping is no longer a type of pruning, and for good reason! In this process, arborists would just 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 anymore.

As a DIY tree trimming, you might 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 it will ever regain a natural shape.

The Solution? Call ME Tree Trimming

Your tree may never recover from bad trimming.

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

Limbs don’t grow back. The tree will grow more, but it will not grow back in the same places, which results in odd shapes that could take years to correct. The tree might end up looking bad for the remainder of its life, all because of just one pruning error.

Improper trimming could also cause death of the tree. Cutting off too many limbs (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 can also send the tree into a state of shock. Shock can be overcome, but it takes a lot of patience and care. Even with proper care, a tree undergoing shock may still die.

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