Five Common Tree Pruning and Trimming Mistakes

Five Common Tree Pruning and Trimming Mistakes

October 30, 2020

With fall already here and winter on the way, it’s time to start trimming and pruning your trees in Paso Robles, CA. Pruning and trimming not only improves your tree’s health and growth, but it also helps protect your home from storm and wind damage. But before you whip out that chainsaw in your garage and go to town, it’s important to understand how to prune and trim properly.

Here are the biggest tree pruning and trimming mistakes you can make in Paso Robles, CA:

  • The wrong time of year: Depending on the types of trees you have in your yard, there are good and bad times to prune. Before you start hacking away at your beautiful trees, let a certified arborist take a look. They’ll be able to recommend the best times to prune, especially for the Paso Robles climate. Since the heat can remain scorching well into September and October, it’s important that you take your trees’ needs into consideration. Otherwise, you may see substandard growth in the spring—or worse, you might irreparably damage your trees.
  • Topping off: This is mostly an ugly mistake, not a devastating one—but you should avoid it nonetheless. Some homeowners “top” their trees by cutting off only the tops of the branches and foliage. This is common with crepe myrtle and other species with abundant foliage. If your tree was planted without enough space (horizontally and vertically), you might have tried this to get your tree under control—but really, it only makes the tree look bad and weakens its branch structure. Don’t do this.
  • Over-pruning: You should never prune more than 15 to 20 percent of your tree’s mature foliage off at one time, and if you can get away with less, you should. The canopy is there so the tree can produce enough nutrients and support itself—don’t take away its capacity to do so. Some homeowners over prune to try to get the grass underneath to grow better, but this rarely works. It will also damage or kill your tree.
  • Raising the canopy too high: You might know this phenomenon as “broccoli trees” or “lion’s tails.” Either way, when you prune too low and too harshly, you leave only a small amount of canopy. It looks bad, and it’s not too great for the tree, either.
  • Improper cuts: If you cut the branches too close to the trunk, you reduce the tree’s ability to heal and keep disease out. The branch collar—or that small bump where the branch meets the trunk—is necessary to create a callus, which keeps disease out. Trimming trees too close to the trunk eliminates those branch collar cells and will hurt your tree.

Taking care of your trees includes pruning and trimming them the right way. Understanding your tree species and its needs will help you make the best decisions possible.

For help trimming and pruning your trees in Paso Robles, CA, call Neumann & Sons Tree Service today. We provide complete arboreal services to home and business owners in the area.

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