Tree Trimming Mistakes to Avoid

tree pruning mistake

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

Rather than putting yourself and the tree at risk, find a professional who is trained and experienced to do it for you.

This will lead to much healthier trees and a safer environment surrounding your house for many reasons:

  • Healthy trees are stronger and not as likely to cause damage during severe storms
  • Maintained trees won’t attract or spread diseases and parasites
  • Trimmed trees produce more flowers or fruit
  • Trimmed trees provide shade and allow air to flow through their canopies and your property

MI Tree Trimming highly suggests trimming trees that are near your home or all that are a focus of your property.

Is Tree Pruning Necessary?

It is not necessary. But it is important. Trees are hardy and are able to grow on their own everywhere in the world, in many different climates and locations, without trimming.

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

Tree Pruning Gone Wrong

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

But that’s OK, because there are many arborists available who know exactly how to properly prune trees for an affordable price to you including all of the certified arborists throughout Michigan we partner with!

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

Pruning Too Much

When done correctly, trimming is an ongoing process. Starting 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 big mistake that people make when pruning trees themselves is cutting too much of the tree all at once. 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 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 is able to properly trim trees any time of year.

Removing Tree Bark

When you cut a tree branch and gravity starts pulling it down, it can rip 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 insects to find their way in.

To stop this from occurring, an arborist will make special cuts underneath larger branches before making their actual removal cut. Knowing exactly how to place these small cuts takes pressure off the branch collar and limits the stress at the exact point of the main cut so the branch doesn’t rip.

Pruning in the Wrong Place

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

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

Trimming Large Branches

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

Conservative pruning once each year guarantees that your tree trimmer only has to remove branches that are 2-3 inches in diameter, which leads to a more attractive shape for the tree and less chance of hurting 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 service, arborists would just 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 tree care companies do not practice tree topping anymore.

As a DIY tree pruning, you may think this is an easy way to lower the height of your tree with only a single cut, but once you have cut off the top of a tree, there’s almost no chance that it will ever return to a natural shape.

The Solution? Call MI Tree Trimming

Let’s face it. Your tree may never recover from poor pruning.

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

Limbs aren’t going to grow back. The tree will grow more, but not in the same places, which produces strange shapes that could require years to correct. The tree might end up looking bad for the rest of its life, all because of a single pruning error.

Bad trimming could also cause death of the tree. Removing too many branches (and, therefore, leaves) can affect the tree’s photosynthesis process, meaning it won’t get all of the water it needs or enough sunlight and carbon dioxide to continue healthy growth.

Cutting off too many branches might 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 maintenance, a tree undergoing shock may still die.

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