Pruning is an important step in tree care. While many common North American tree species require little-to-no maintenance, you can encourage healthy growth and development while also maintaining greater control over over the trees – by pruning them on a regular basis.
However, you’ll want to avoid the following tree pruning mistakes.
#1) Using Dirty Shears
Always clean your shears (or any cutting blade) with a small amount of rubbing alcohol before using them on a tree.
Even if the blades look clean, they probably have an army of microscopic bacteria blanketing the surface.
Failure to clean your shears will result in some of these microorganisms transferring over to the tree, which can subsequently lead to disease and illness.
#2) Excessive Pruning
When it comes to pruning a tree, it’s best to follow the mantra less is more.
A good rule of thumb is to prune no more than 20% of a mature tree’s foliage. Going beyond this amount may stress the tree while restricting its ability to transfer nutrients.
Remember, you can always go back and prune more, but you can’t undo excessive pruning.
#3) Pruning Structurally Significant Areas
Before pruning your tree, identify areas that provide structural integrity.
If you prune these areas, your tree is more likely to collapse and fall over.
Not only is this harmful to the tree, but it poses a serious risk to you and your family.
#4) Pruning Conifers During Summer
With summer right around the corner, you may feel the need to prune conifers in your landscape.
Pruning the top branches of conifers during the summer, however, may stunt its growth. This is because new growth occurs on the ends of branches, where the buds are located. And removing these buds prevents them from growing.
#5) Not Pruning at All
Of course, another mistake you should avoid is not pruning your trees at all.
Pruning isn’t done strictly for aesthetic value; it can enhance the growth, development and overall health of a tree when done correctly.
If you aren’t comfortable pruning your tree, hire a professional tree care company to do it for you.
After reading this, you should have a better idea of how to prune your trees without causing stress. Just remember to avoid making the five mistakes mentioned above.
The Woodsman Company offers tree planting, tree pruning and shrub trimming, tree removal and stump grinding as well as a tree wellness program.
If we can help with any of your tree care needs give us a call at 512-846-2535 or 512-940-0799 or
Very good read. Well written and to the point. Id like to add, don’t use tree spikes (gaffs) to prune a tree as well. Only time they should be used is on a tree removal project.
Bernard Clyde says
I appreciate you explaining the need for pruning in order to help the tree grow better. It’s important that this tree servicing task is done with an understanding of what is best for trees. It may be wise to rely on professional advice and services since they know what could harm the tree as well as what pruning would be best for the tree.
Tyler Meredith says
It’s interesting that excessive pruning can be bad for a tree’s health. I didn’t realize that pruning off too much would cause the tree to become unhealthy and possibly die due to the lack of sunlight it receives with fewer branches. I’ll have to remember this for when I need my trees pruned because having a professional do it would be helpful to ensure their continued health.
Matt Parks Tree Service says
Good article. We have clients that prune their trees way too often, and we have to explain how this is damaging. Thanks for the read!
Louis Nash says
Not taking proper care of your trees can not only damage your property, but it can damage a potential sale as well. If your home is about to hit the market, it needs to look its best
Click here says
Amazing read. Love the content. Keep grinding.