How hard could trimming a tree be? Most homeowners have this thought right before they start trimming their own trees. In most cases, the homeowner proceeds with the trimming, and everything turns out okay. In some cases, however, the homeowner makes some tree trimming mistakes, and those mistakes end up compromising the tree's health and vitality. These mistakes don't have to be major ones. In fact, they are usually just tiny mistakes. Here are a few of them.
Cutting off the ends of branches
If a branch is too long, you may consider cutting off the end to make it shorter and more ideal. While this may sound like a good idea, it's actually a really harmful way to trim a tree. Branches grow from their ends, and removing this growth structure can cause the rest of the branch to wither and die. If a branch is too long, you need to trim away that entire branch. Cut it near the place where it meets the trunk or a major limb. This is a lot healthier for the tree in the long term.
Using dirty shears
If you dig through your garage and find your trimming shears, don't jump straight into using them right away. Make sure you take the time to clean and sanitize them first. If you skip this step, you risk introducing harmful pathogens to the tree's most sensitive, inner tissues when you cut into it. You can use alcohol wipes to clean off the shears, or you can just dunk them into some bleach water. If you are trimming multiple trees, make sure you do this before each tree. Even if a tree looks healthy, it could be harboring some bacteria or fungi that you could pass on to another tree.
Removing too much
If a tree looks really overgrown, it can be tempting to just cut off all the excess and bring it back down to size. But removing too much growth at once can do more harm than good. Instead, you want to take things slow. Remove a few branches this year, and then a few more the next. Over time, your tree's shape will improve, and it won't become weak or compromised due to over-trimming.
Homeowners can trim their own trees successfully as long as they avoid the little mistakes mentioned above. If you are still worried your trimming may do more harm than good, contact a tree branch trimming company instead.