You and your family live in your dream house. It has the white picket fence, amazingly green lawn, and tall trees; everything you could ask for. But as a homeowner, these things don’t just remain in immaculate shape. You need to maintain your trees, or else risk an unkempt yard and safety hazards.

Tree Trimming 101

In this article, we’ll give you 8 tips on tree trimming for homeowners.

  1. Prune Yearly During Dormant Seasons

As a general rule of thumb, you should prune your trees during their dormant seasons. This is usually in the fall and/or winter when they’ve lost all of their leaves. Since there are no lush clumps of leaves to deal with, it can be easier to cut off the branches. As we’ve said, this is just a general rule of thumb. Read on to find out more tips on other situations where you’ll need to trim and prune your trees to extend their lifespan and improve their health.

  1. Prune Before Your Trees Get Too Large

When you wait until your trees get too large, this is a bit late for pruning and trimming. They can cause safety issues and they’re not very aesthetically pleasing. If you wait until your trees are overgrown the pruning and trimming you do can damage them since you’ll have to remove too much of their structure. This will stress out your trees. When you cut any part of the tree off, this is like a wound on a person. So the more you have to cut off, the more exposed your trees are to things like fungi and bacteria. This will increase the chances of infection and disease.



  1. Do Regular Inspection of Leaves

Just like in humans, if you find infection or disease early enough, you can remove it before it affects other parts of the tree. Whenever you’re outside, take a close look at your trees’ leaves. If they’re discolored, have fungal growth, or are falling off prematurely, then this may be signs of disease. Not only should you trim these parts off, but you should also apply a fungicide if needed. Sometimes, the infection can be so bad that it spreads from the leaves to the branches. In this case, you’ll need to also trim the bigger affected branches off.

  1. Check for Malformed Branches

Malformed branches not only look bad, but they also compromise your trees’ structural integrity. If your trees look like they’re growing in a strange shape, you need to correct it through strategic trimming. You can usually tell there’s a weak, malformed area when the branches are sagging and look twisted. Be sure to trim these before they fall off and cause damage.

  1. Trim V-Shaped Branches That Are Narrow

To promote the healthy growth of your trees, you need to be conscientious of which branches you cut off. If you get rid of ones that are strong and healthy, you may inadvertently be damaging your tree. This may cause it to grow weaker and in a less aesthetically pleasing way. But how can you determine which branches are ok to trim? Take a look at how they’re shaped. If you see branches that are narrow and V-shaped, then these are ok to trim. If, on the other hand, they’re thicker and have U-shapes, then these should be left alone. When looking at lateral branches, their diameters should be between 1/2 to 3/4 of the stem where it connects to the tree. If they’re not, then they’re also ok to trim.

Tree Trimming 101 - ground trimming

  1. Always Do an Inspection After Bad Weather

If your area’s recently gone through bad weather, such as a flood or storm, make sure you inspect your trees thoroughly when it’s safe to do so. Trim back damaged parts, even if your trees look strange. They’ll grow back into beautiful trees soon enough. For floods, you’ll want to inspect the roots. If your lawn is completely saturated, your trees’ roots may be damaged. In this case, you may need to have entire trees removed.

  1. Have an Arborist Trim Larger Branches

For anything under 2 inches in diameter, you’re pretty much good to go. Go ahead and trim these branches to make your trees healthier and more pleasing to the eye. For branches between 2 to 4 inches in diameter, you’ll want to give it a second before you hack them off. The optimal choice for these branches will depend on the case. For instance, you’ll want to trim them if they’re a hazard or block the view from inside the house. But if you just want to trim it just for the sake of trimming, you might want to mull over it first.

If the diameter of the branch in question is over 4 inches, you need to give it more consideration, as there must be a good reason to remove a well-established branch. If you still want to remove it after some deliberation, it’s best to have an arborist trim anything over 4 inches in diameter. Not only are they trained to remove it safely, but they also have the proper equipment to do so. They can also offer a second opinion on whether or not you should trim these branches.

  1. Get an Annual Professional Inspection

Setting up an annual tree service is essential to maintaining the health of your trees. This service can help cut down the time that you need to spend trimming and pruning by yourself. Since tree services are performed by professional arborists, they can pinpoint weak spots and disease quickly and utilize the most effective techniques to nurse your trees back to health.

Use These Great Tree Trimming Tips

By following these great tree trimming tips, you can ensure that your trees grow strongly and beautifully. Not only that, but you can also make your property a safer place for you and your family. Remember to keep up with it, since small problems can quickly become large, unruly, and expensive to fix. So long as you’re vigilant and proactive, then you can keep your property looking great and green for years to come. For more interesting articles on home improvement, please check out our other blog posts!