Tree Trimming Mistakes to Avoid

tree pruning mistake

Tree pruning is best left to professionals. It’s dangerous work, climbing trees, using chainsaws and dropping heavy tree limbs to the ground; and it can also be dangerous for the tree too. Trees that aren’t pruned properly can suffer from a lifetime of problems.

Rather than putting yourself in harm’s way and putting the tree at risk, find someone who is trained and experienced to do it for you.

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

  • Healthy trees are stronger and not as likely to cause damage during severe storms
  • Cared for trees don’t attract or spread diseases and parasites
  • Pruned trees grow more flowers or fruit
  • Pruned trees provide shade while still allowing air to flow through their canopies and your property

NM Tree Trimming strongly encourages pruning trees that are very close to your house or all that are an integral part of your property.

Is Tree Pruning Necessary?

It is not required. But it is beneficial. Trees are resilient and grow on their own everywhere in the world, in various different climates and regions, without pruning.

That said, there are several benefits of professional tree trimming, so it’s definitely recommended for any trees that you value. This includes sentimental trees, fruit trees and flowering trees or trees that perform an important job for your home, such as shade or home to wildlife.

Tree Trimming Gone Wrong

Tree pruning is a difficult project. You need the right tools and a lot of knowledge to guarantee the job is done right. The majority of homeowners don’t have any of these!

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

Here are the 5 most common mistakes people make when attempting DIY tree pruning that can lead to many tree problems. These are things that a certified arborist from NM Tree Trimming will know, and that’s why their services are worth the price!

Trimming Too Much

When done properly, pruning is a never-ending process. Beginning when your trees are only 2 or 3 years old, they should be trimmed by an arborist if you value them and intend to keep them healthy.

A big mistake that homeowners make when pruning trees by themselves is cutting too much of the tree at a time. This happens because they have let the tree’s growth get out of hand and try to correct it all at once. Ideally, you should not cut off more than 5-20% of the tree’s crown at a time. It is a lot easier to do this during a season that there are no leaves, but an experienced arborist is able to properly trim trees any time of year.

Removing Bark from the Tree

When you cut a tree limb and gravity starts pulling it down, it can rip bark from the 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 stop this from occurring, a trained arborist makes special cuts beneath big branches before making their final removal cut. Knowing exactly how to place these small cuts removes pressure from the branch collar and lowers the stress at the exact point of the main cut so the limb doesn’t tear.

Pruning in the Wrong Place

A certified tree specialist knows exactly where to cut each limb to prevent damage. This cut should occur just beyond the branch collar, the exact place where the branch connects to the trunk.

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

Pruning Big Branches

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

Conservative trimming annually ensures that your tree trimmer only has to remove 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! During this process, tree trimmers would cut the top off of the tree to get the desired height. It was not attractive nor was it beneficial for the tree, so the majority of arborists do not practice tree topping anymore.

As a DIY tree pruning, you might think this is a good way to reduce 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 regain a natural shape.

The Solution? Call NM Tree Trimming

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

Attempting this job yourself might seem like a way to save a little money, but you might 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 New Mexico from NM Tree Trimming.

Limbs aren’t going to grow back. The tree will grow more, but it will not grow back in the same places, which causes 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.

Bad trimming could also result in death of the tree. Removing too many branches (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 growing.

Cutting off too many branches might also send the tree into a state of shock. Shock isn’t necessarily permanent, but it does take a great deal of patience and care. Even with proper maintenance, a tree experiencing shock may still die.

Avoid all of these tree trimming mistakes and call NM Tree Trimming to speak with a tree care specialist in New Mexico able to devise a plan to ensure your tree continues to blossom and look beautiful for years to come!