Tree Trimming Mistakes

In the effort to take of our trees we sometimes make unintended mistakes. Learn what common mistakes to avoid when trimming your own trees.

DIY Tree Trimming 

Most homeowners think that trimming trees involves shears and deciding where to cut but there’s actually a lot more to the art of trimming a tree properly. Improperly trimming a tree can actually cause disease and damage to the tree, or even give it a worse appearance down the line. The ideal scenario would be to hire a professional arborist service like Paul Bunyan to handle tree trimming because they bring expert knowledge that gives you the results you want. 

Tree Trimming Tips 

If you’re thinking about DIY tree trimming try these following tips to avoid making common mistakes:

Trimming At The Wrong Time of Year

Typically trimming is delayed until trees start to look a little shabby, but cutting branches at the wrong time of year can have unintended negative consequences. Avoid trimming during a tree’s budding season, instead waiting until that time has passed. For trees that don’t bud, wintertime is often an ideal opportunity to prune branches. Trimming causes trees to release sap, and if this is happening when insects are active, it can result in the spread of disease. The only type of trimming that can be done at any time is removing dead branches. 

Using Dull or Dirty Tools

The quality of tool you use to trim really matters—no one getting surgery would want dull or dirty tools used on them and or trees are no different. A quality set of shares that are sharpened at least twice a year enables clean cuts that perfect your tree. Dull shears leave you hanging away and that causes trauma that harms the health and aesthetics. Tools need to be sanctioned as well to prevent the spread of disease. Prior to trimming any new tree, wipe your shears with rubbing alcohol and allow them to dry completely. Be sure to also clean up the cut branches and debris from around the tree to prevent the incubation of pests and other diseases.

Randomly Deciding What to Trim 

It’s also best to trim dead branches but beyond those, how do you decide what to trim? Trimming is meant to encourage growth and production, but trimming incorrectly can weaken the tree and over time give it an unappealing look. Start by trimming dead or dying branches, then identify the ones that are weak or growing in a v-shape from the trunk and out of character  with typical branch growth. Taking away too many branches can result is exposure to too much sunlight and cut away essential nutrients the tree needs to survive. Avoid trimming just the end of branches as well, as that doesn’t remove the hazard large branches may prevent, and disease in the inner parts of the branch can continue to spread throughout the tree.

Cutting The Branch Collar

When trimming trees, many seek to make cuts that are flush with the trunk, but doing this actually does more harm than good. That’s because it damages the tree collar, the part of the branch that contains a large bundle of vascular tissue. Damage to this area causes the tree to lose a lot of sap, attract insides, and also make the wound heal more slowly. The best approach is to cut within one-inch of the base of the branch.

Keep these tips in mind the next time your trees may need trimming to ensure that the work you do will promote tree health. 

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