DIY Tree Trimming

Providing trees with their much-needed care is no biggie for most homeowners. Trees require water, fertilizer, and mulch to thrive. These things are essential to keep a tree in good condition and prevent it from bringing you unnecessary stress. Another crucial tree maintenance is trimming, but can you do it on your own? Absolutely. However, there important considerations in trimming that you need to learn before you take on the job. 

If you have decided to perform the task, keep reading for some useful guides in trimming small trees and branches.

Is it okay to DIY Tree Trimming

If you’re looking to trim a small tree with relatively small branches, go ahead and do it. But if the task will require you to climb a ladder to reach the limbs or the tree is nearby power lines, you should not even think of doing it. 

DIY Branch Trimming in Small Trees

Let’s begin with the proper way to trim small branches:

  • Use a sharp and clean pruning tool.
  • Be familiar with tree anatomy. The branch collar is the bulged area under the branch, which connects the branch to the tree. The branch ridge, on the other hand, is the area between the branch and the trunk. 
  • Locate the spot you’ll trim. You should make the cut far enough the branch collar to avoid damaging it and leaving a stub. 
  • For a thin branch that is less than one inch, you should cut the branch slightly beyond the branch collar. 
  • For a thick branch, you should utilize the three-cut rule. Cut halfway underneath the branch, then go a couple of inches past the cut, and make the cut. The final cut should be just in front of the branch collar. 

Trimming a Small Tree

Trimming a small tree is mostly similar to cutting small branches, but there are other things to consider.

  • Identify the branches you will prune and the ones you will not. You should keep the branches that are growing at 60 degrees from the trunk. Remove the branches that seem to misalign from the rest of the branches.
  • Plan how much to trim. Do not trim more than 25 percent of the tree’s canopy in one trimming session. 
  • Remove any branch that competes with the leader branch, in younger trees.
  • Finally, cut the branches following the guide above.

DIY Trimming Gone Wrong

Tree trimming can go a long way in keeping your tree healthy. But one wrong cut can lead to its decline and sudden death. This is the reason why you shouldn’t trim more than 1/4 of the tree’s canopy in one session. You should avoid cutting the branch collar because it can be the reason for your tree’s death. Finally, avoid topping your tree because it doesn’t only compromise the shape of the tree, but also result in its total decline.

Avoid Trimming a Large Tree

If you haven’t noticed yet, we only talked about trimming small trees, and that’s because we never recommend trimming larger ones. Pruning a tree that necessitates the use of a ladder to reach the branches is too risky and should only be done by an experienced tree company. You can lose your balance or grip on the equipment that can lead to disaster. It is best to leave the job to a certified arborist who has the skills, experience, and equipment to perform the job safely.  

This information was provided by Saints Tree Service Cleveland, 9526 Parkview Ave, Cleveland, OH 44104.