Tree Trimming Mistakes to Avoid

tree pruning mistake

Tree pruning is best left to trained professionals. It’s a dangerous job, climbing trees, wielding chainsaws and dropping heavy branches to the ground; and it can be dangerous for the tree too. Trees that aren’t pruned the right way can experience a lifetime of damage.

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

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

IA Tree Trimming strongly suggests pruning trees that are very close to your house or all that are a focus of your property.

Is Tree Pruning Necessary?

It is not required. But it is beneficial. Trees are very hardy and grow on their own all over the world, in many different climates and regions, without trimming.

That said, there are a lot of benefits of tree trimming, so it’s highly recommended for trees that you care about. This can include 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

Tree trimming is a complicated project. You are going to need the correct equipment and a lot of information to ensure the job is done correctly. The vast majority of homeowners don’t have either of these!

But that’s alright, because there are many companies out there who know how to properly trim trees for an affordable price to you including all of the certified arborists in Iowa we work with!

Here are the 5 mistakes people make when attempting DIY tree pruning that can lead to several tree problems. These are things that a certified arborist from IA Tree Trimming will know, and that’s the reason why their services are worth paying for!

Pruning Too Much

When done the right way, pruning is a never-ending process. Starting when your trees are just 2 or 3 years old, they should be looked after by an arborist if you care about them and want to keep them strong and healthy.

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

Pruning in the Wrong Place

An experienced tree specialist knows where to trim each limb to protect against damage. This cut should occur 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 decay, mildew and pests. 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 aesthetic or structural problems.

Trimming Large Branches

Branches larger than 4 inches in diameter really shouldn’t be pruned unless it is absolutely necessary. Cutting off a branch this large can cause imbalance in the tree and expose it to insects and rot as the tree recovers from losing such a large branch.

Conservative trimming once each year ensures that the 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 disease and insects.

Topping the Tree

Tree topping is no longer a 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 neither attractive nor was it beneficial for the tree, so the vast majority of arborists do not practice tree topping anymore.

During DIY tree pruning, you might think this is a good way to lower 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 it will ever return to a natural shape.

The Solution? Call IA Tree Trimming

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

Doing this job yourself might seem like a good way to save money, but you might 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 Iowa from IA Tree Trimming.

Limbs will not grow back. The tree will grow more, but not in the same places, which leads to odd shapes that could require years to correct. The tree could look bad for the rest of its life, all because of a single pruning error.

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

Cutting off too many branches could also send the tree into a state of shock. Shock can be overcome, but it does take 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 IA Tree Trimming to speak with a tree care specialist in Iowa able to devise a plan to ensure your tree continues to blossom and look beautiful for years to come!