Tree Trimming Mistakes to Avoid

tree pruning mistake

Tree trimming is best left to professionals. It’s a dangerous job, climbing trees, using chainsaws and dropping heavy tree limbs to the ground; and it is sometimes dangerous for the tree too. Trees that are improperly pruned can suffer from a lifetime of damage.

Rather than putting yourself and the tree itself at risk, enlist someone who is knowledgeable and experienced to do it for you.

This will lead to much stronger trees and a safer environment near your landscaping for several reasons:

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

HI Tree Trimming highly suggests trimming trees that are very close to your house or any that are an integral part of your landscape.

Is Tree Trimming Necessary?

It is not necessary. But it is beneficial. Trees are very hardy and can survive on their own everywhere in the world, in various different climates and regions, without pruning.

That said, there are many benefits of tree trimming, so it’s recommended for trees that you care about. This can include sentimental trees, fruit trees and blossoming trees or trees that offer an important service for your home, such as shade or wildlife habitat.

Tree Pruning Gone Wrong

Pruning a tree is a complex task. You need the correct equipment and a lot of information to ensure the project is done right. The vast majority of homeowners don’t have any of these!

But that’s OK, because there are a lot of services out there who know how to properly prune trees for an affordable cost to you including all of the certified arborists in Hawaii we partner with!

Here are the 5 most common mistakes people make when they attempt DIY tree pruning that can lead to many tree problems. These are things that a professional arborist from HI Tree Trimming will know, and that’s the reason why their services are worth paying for!

Pruning Too Much

When done the right way, tree trimming is a never-ending process. Beginning when your trees are only 2 or 3 years old, they should be looked after by an expert if you care about them and intend to keep them strong and healthy.

A huge mistake people make when pruning trees by themselves is trimming 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 season that the leaves are off, but a certified arborist will be able to properly trim trees any time of year.

Removing Tree Bark

After you cut a tree branch and gravity starts pulling it down, it can tear off bark from the trunk right along with it. This exposes the tree’s inner layers, putting the tree in danger of contracting diseases and making it easier for pests and rodents to scurry their way in.

To ensure this doesn’t happen, a trained arborist will make special cuts underneath big branches before making their actual removal cut. Knowing exactly how to place these initial cuts takes pressure off the branch collar and limits the stress at the exact point of the main cut so the tree branch doesn’t tear.

Trimming in the Wrong Place

A trained arborist 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.

Trimming too close to the branch collar exposes the tree to insects, decay and mildew. Cutting too far from it leaves an unsightly stump when the tree recovers. Most DIY tree pruning leads to an improper cut, leaving either aesthetic or structural problems.

Trimming Large Branches

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

Conservative pruning annually ensures that the tree service 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 risk of harming the tree or exposing it to disease and insects.

Topping the Tree

Tree topping is an outdated type of pruning, and for good reason! With this process, tree trimmers would cut the top off of the tree to achieve the desired height. It was neither attractive nor beneficial for the tree, so the majority of arborists do not practice tree topping currently.

During DIY tree trimming, you may 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 that it will ever regain a natural shape.

The Solution? Call HI Tree Trimming

Your tree may never recover from bad pruning.

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

Limbs don’t grow back. The tree will grow more, but it will not grow back in the same places, which produces strange shapes that might require years to fix. The tree could look bad for the rest of its life, all because of a single pruning mistake.

Improper pruning could also lead to death of the tree. Removing too many limbs (and, therefore, leaves) can alter the tree’s photosynthesis process, meaning it won’t get all of the water it needs or enough carbon dioxide and sunlight to continue growing.

Cutting too many branches could also send the tree into a state of shock. Shock can be overcome, but it takes a great deal of patience and care. Even with the right maintenance, a tree experiencing shock may still die.

Avoid all of these tree pruning mistakes and call HI Tree Trimming to speak with a tree care specialist in Hawaii able to come up with a long-term plan to ensure your tree continues to blossom and look beautiful for years to come!