Mistakes Homeowners Make When Trimming Trees Themselves

mistakes homeowners make

Trimming trees at regular intervals is a necessary precaution against damage to your property and landscape. Mostly, the issue arises out of dead limbs which also signal poor tree health. Healthy trees not only add to the aesthetic appeal of your surroundings but also contribute towards checking pollution, conserve energy and boost greenery all over. It’s quite a common sight how residents of Orange Country spend a great deal of time in tree maintenance (trimming, pruning, and removal) across their lawns and backyards.

However, tree removal is one such dedicated job that demands expertise and precision in equal measures. Many times homeowners take to remove trees on their own and end up in a mess. Not having the right tools and lack of professional training to handle jobs like this, homeowners do more harm than good. They not only end up causing harm to their property but also affect the growth and appearance of the trees as well. In this post, we take a look at 5 mistakes homeowners make when trimming trees so that you can steer clear of it.

The art of Trimming and Pruning

Typically, most homeowners take time until the tree shows overgrowth before they start heading out with shears. While its customary to prune trees following overgrowth, one should pick the right season to do so. Pruning trees at the wrong time of the year threatens bloom and fruit production. Take conifers for instance. They don’t bloom like other trees. Hence, the best time to prune and trim them is late winters. On the other hand, trees that bloom should always be pruned during the Spring, right after the blooming starts. Never end up clipping only the top branches of a tree. Doing so will prevent branches from falling away from the trunk, when they grow old or decayed. In some cases, you need to get behind the branches and trim it entirely to stop the decaying from spreading.

Additionally, it is important to check whether the tree is under attack from insects. If you take to pruning without acknowledging the insect attack, the sap flow from the shear blows can lead to the untimely death of the tree. The singular expectation being too many dead branches, when you need to consider tree removal at once.

Disregard towards Sanitation

Trees are delicate and similar to humans, they too are susceptible to bacteria and fungi attack. Most homeowners skip sanitizing their shears before they start pruning. This leads to the pathogens being transferred from one tree to another, thus causing further damage. Hence, you must use a sanitizing agent like rubbing alcohol to wipe clean the blades of your shears and ensure it’s completely dry before you head out. After pruning is done, one should also initiate a thorough clean up for the dead or the fallen leaves and take them off from the tree. Such leaves, when left on branches, turn out to be a great harbor point for fungi and insects wreaking havoc to general tree health. In such cases, one should immediately call professional tree removal services for help.

Working on the wrong branches

The right way to prune a tree goes a lot further than just trimming away leaves and random branches. It calls for one to pay sharp attention to the shape of the tree. This helps in the process that you don’t end up cutting branches that would weaken the tree itself. Random pruning of branches also affects the general shape of the tree in the long run. The best way is to start removing the dead branches and then proceed slowly to take care of those branches that join the trunk at a V-shaped angle. Always focus on smaller branches compared to the thick ones to keep the strength of the tree intact.

Cutting your way through the Branch Collar

Most homeowners unknowingly cut their way through the branch collar of trees located close to the base. The branch collar is comprised of a huge bundle filled with vascular tissues. Hence, cutting through it makes the tree lose a good amount of sap. Furthermore, the wound takes a long time to heal. Ideally, one should leave an inch of a stub and cut their way right after the branch collar.

Using blunt shears and more force

Before you get to pruning, check the blades of your shears for good. Your shear blades must stay sharp for clean and perfect pruning. When you work with blunt and dull blades, you exercise extra force, which ends up as several rough wounds across the tree length. As such, it also increases the healing time, thereby deteriorating the health of the tree. Hence, always invest in a good pair of shears when planning for tree removal or pruning all by yourself.


So, now you know the most common mistakes homeowners make while pruning trees. By observing closely one can get better at handling trees by themselves. However, it is always advised that you seek assistance from professional tree removal services in Orange County to avoid any hassle.