3 Tree Trimming Mistakes & Why They Are So Bad

Construction & Contractors Articles

Tree trimming is something that many homeowners do themselves—after all, how hard can it be to cut back a few branches when the tree is getting out of hand? However, tree trimming is actually quite complex, and those who undertake their own trimming can often do more harm to their tree than good.

Here are some of the most common tree trimming mistakes that people make when doing DIY trimming and why they are so bad for the health and growth of your tree. 

Mistake #1: Not removing all dead growth.

Tree trimming should be done mostly for the health of the tree—not solely for aesthetic appearance. If you really like the look, placement, or size of a specific branch, you are probably inclined to leave it there. However, if the branch is dead, diseased, or in the process of dying, it should be removed when you prune, even if it makes your tree look weird for a little while.

Removing dead growth from trees helps redirect your trees energy into producing new, healthy growth. Also, dead branches open trees up for diseases or insect infestations.

Mistake #2: Cutting in the middle of the stem or branch.

Another downside to take the "aesthetic approach" to pruning is that branches can end up being cut right in the middle, instead of close to the trunk or to the mother bough.

When a branch is cut in the middle, it puts the tree into distress. They will focus growing energy on "repairing" the wound, which is why you'll eventually see many shoots growing from the limb stump in a few months. These shoots pull energy from the tree and use up a lot of its resources, and they end up looking ugly. Eventually, if a tree is always pruned this way, the internal sections of the tree will die or struggle to stay healthy as the tree will be putting all of its effort into "healing" itself literally to death. 

It is best to cut stems and branch as close to the parent branch as possible. The tree still responds to the open wound, but rarely will try to repair the damage with offshoot growth. Instead, the parent branch will get longer and stronger as the tree directs energy to that specific area. 

Mistake #3: Topping the tree.

Sometimes, a homeowner may feel like a tree is just getting too tall. The most obvious solution is to cut the "tall" part away, leaving the bottom portion of the tree intact. However, cutting off the top of a tree cuts away some of the healthiest growth, and it will open the heart of the tree up to disease. Also, the ends of top-reaching branches bear the most leaves—trees need their leaves in order to create food for the whole tree. Eventually, the structural integrity of the tree will be compromised as its health declines.

You can restrict both height and spread by carefully directing branches with pruning. Usually, this means removing specific branches, allowing others to take their place and become the main supporting branches of the tree. This process is complex and often requires knowledge about tree growth patterns, so if you are having a size problem with your tree, contact a professional through resources like http://www.schulhofftlc.com. If you are still having trouble with tree height, it is better to remove the tree and plant a smaller species in its place that to continue the cycle of lopping off branches. 

Trimming your own trees is an option to consider, but true and effective pruning is complex and requires both time and study to preserve the health of your tree. You should consult the guidance of a professional if you have extensive tree trimming needs. 

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14 July 2015

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