Three Tree Trimming Mistakes To Avoid

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When I bought a house with a cherry blossom tree in the front yard, I couldn't wait for that first blooming season to see the tree fill out. I knew that the tree needed care, but I wasn't sure how I was supposed to treat it. I called my local tree service and had them show me what it needed to keep it strong. I took all of the information they shared with me and everything else I've learned and created this site. I hope that the information here helps you take care of your blossoming trees so that you can enjoy their beauty every season.

Three Tree Trimming Mistakes To Avoid

3 April 2017
 Categories: , Blog

Most deciduous landscape trees don't require heavy pruning once they are mature, but it can be a deadly mistake to think they need no trimming. Dead and damaged limbs can pose a health danger to the tree and falling hazard to you and your home. Avoid the following mistakes when it comes to trimming out problem branches on your tree to ensure it remains healthy.

#1: Skipping the disinfectant

Believe it or not, your pruning tools can be a vector for diseases when it comes to your trees. Fungal spores, insect eggs, and viral or bacterial pathogens can cling to the surface of a pair of shears or a saw. These will then transfer to the next tree or shrub you prune as soon as you make a cut. Disinfecting the tools is the key to preventing this problem. You can wipe them down with rubbing alcohol, which has the added benefit of dissolving any sticky sap that accumulates on the blade. Another option is to dip the shears or saw into a bucket of bleach that is diluted in water. Generally, you only need to clean the tools when moving to a new tree, but you may want to clean after each cut if you notice a disease or pest problem on the branch you are removing.

#2: Leaving behind a stump

Where you cut is just as important as how you cut. Most major branches have a raised bit of bark right at their base, which is known as the branch collar. You don't want to cut into this if at all possible, since it will seal the wound much more quickly if it is left intact. Yet, at the same time you don't want to leave a branch stump jutting out beyond the collar, since this stump of dead wood will be more susceptible to rot and disease. The key is to cut off branches flush with the collar. Smaller branches, which may not have a collar, should be cut flush to the nearest healthy branch.

#3: Only removing dead wood

It can be tempting to only cut out the dead wood in the hopes that any sickly or badly damaged branches recover. This can be a mistake that compromises the health of the entire tree, since damaged wood is the main spot where insects and disease organisms can overtake a previously healthy tree. Cut back broken and split branches promptly to the nearest healthy wood. Branches showing signs of major disease or insect infestation should be removed entirely. If your tree has two branches rubbing together, remove one of them before the bark develops a friction wound. Taking these steps can prevent major issues later.

For more help, contact a professional tree trimmer in your area.