Many of the biggest tree-trimming mistakes are results of homeowners who don’t know any better. Pruning might seem easy enough at a glance, and doing it yourself could pave the way for some upfront savings. But it’s still very easy to make a mistake when you’re trimming down a tree. And incorrect pruning practices can damage trees’ appearances and even leave them at higher risk for disease, weather damage, and early death.
Hiring a knowledgeable arborist is the safest course of action to take. Still, if you’re hoping to do some trimming on your own, read on for a look at three trimming errors you should try to avoid.
Mistake #1: Incorrect Branch Cutting
If you’ve been cutting your branches very close to their base, or flush to the trunk, you’ve likely been doing serious damage. The section nearest to the base is the branch collar, which houses a bundle of tissues with cells that heal injuries caused by trimming. When someone cuts the collar, it creates a wound from which the tree could take quite some time to recover.
A damaged branch collar can also become an avenue through which pests, weather, and disease can enter the tree, leading to declining health and death.
Mistake #2: Over-Pruning
The precision involved with correct tree trimming procedures also applies to the amount you’re removing. Taking too much off the tree can lead to serious issues later on. Generally, pruning more than 20 percent of a tree’s foliage at once isn’t recommended. Removing too many branches can leave the trunk vulnerable to excessive sunlight. It also leaves it at risk of getting too little nutrition.
Tree topping, the practice of removing much of a tree crown’s top section, is particularly harmful. People believe this will produce more blooming flowers, but all it gets you is a deformed looking tree with an impaired branch structure.
Mistake #3: Trimming Trees at the Wrong Time
Knowing how to trim is one thing, but you’ll also need to know when. In fact, pruning trees in the wrong season can do more harm than good. During warmer months, the leaking sap from trimmed branches could attract invading insects and pests. In the fall, the air contains higher concentrations of fungi which could lead to disease in a pruned tree.
Winter, on the other hand, is usually the best time for trimming. Trees are in a dormant state, and pruning during cold months should help stimulate new growth once spring arrives. You should also consider the tree itself when deciding on when you’ll start pruning. And when in doubt, talk to a certified arborist.
Avoid Tree Trimming Mistakes with Engram’s Tree Service
If you’re hoping to get rid of the uncertainties of tree pruning, there’s an easy solution. Connect with our team of experts at Engram’s Tree Service for more info on tree trimming mistakes, or to get a free quote for services.