Common Mistakes Among DIY Tree Trimmers

If you're on a tight budget or can't find a tree trimmer in your area, you might be tempted to go ahead and trim your trees on your own. This is not necessarily a bad idea; tree trimming is not all that difficult once you have a little practice and figure out what you're doing. Above all else, you'll just want to avoid making these mistakes that DIY tree trimmers often make the first time (or two) around.

Mistake #1: Cutting off the ends of branches

Unless you're trimming something like a boxwood hedge, you should not just be clipping the ends of branches to achieve the shape you want. When you remove growth from a tree, you have to remove the entire branch. Branches grow from the tip, so when you just snip the tips off branches, you are disabling that branch and basically leaving it to die. Shape the tree by identifying branches that are taking away from the shape you want, and removing only those branches. Throughout this whole process, keep in mind that you should remove no more than 1/3 of the tree's branches. If you can't achieve the shape you want within that guideline, do the best you can — the rest will have to happen next year.

Mistake #2: Topping a tree

Topping a tree is when you cut the top of the trunk off to basically shorten the tree. This can seem like a simple fix for a tree that has grown too tall and is interfering with power lines or your home. However, topping is very unhealthy for the tree and may lead to its death, either due to weakness or an infection that's acquired through the exposed inner wood at the top of the tree. You'll have to achieve your desired size by removing individual branches. If this is not possible, then your best bet is to have the tree removed.

Mistake #3: Using the wrong equipment

When trimming a tree, you need sharp, sanitized shears. If your shears are dull, have them sharpened before you begin. Having to saw through wood with the shears will lead to uneven cuts that the tree has to work too hard to heal. Sanitize your shears with rubbing alcohol before each tree. This kills germs and fungal spores so you don't accidentally infect your tree during trimming.

If you're able to avoid the mistakes above, you should do a pretty decent job trimming your own trees. Don't hesitate to contact a tree care company if you run into bigger issues.

For more tips and tricks on tree trimming, reach out to a tree care company in an area near you. 

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Trimming, Treating and Everything In Between

Have you ever marveled at just how enormous mature trees are? What's even more wondrous is the fact that they manage to keep growing and surviving with little interference from the humans who live around them. You don't need to water or fertilize your tree every day like you would a tomato plant. But that's not to say trees do not benefit from some care. Trimming, annual fertilizing, and the occasional deep watering can go a long way towards improving your trees' health. You can learn more about these and other tree services on this website, which we created for tree huggers, tree lovers, and average homeowners alike.

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