Common Tree Trimming Mistakes

Trimming Trees

Trimming TreesWhen people decided to trim trees on their property, they typically make a couple mistakes. While they might have a “do-it-yourself” spirit, they might not have the knowledge or expertise to do the job right. Hence, they end up calling Big Foot Tree Service to come trim their trees “the professional way.” Fair enough.

So what are some common tree trimming mistakes?


First, there’s “topping,” which involves cutting away a majority of the tree’s crown– the leafing branches toward the top. While you might feel you’re giving the tree a much needed “haircut,” you’re actually deforming it and weakening its overall branch structure. Just like it’s not advised to cut your own hair because you might end up looking really bad, it’s advised you don’t top your own tree(s). Oh, and don’t try and raise the canopy too high. It’s not a good idea to trim away many large, lower branches from the tree– you don’t want it to look like a piece of broccoli.

Improper Cuts

Next, there are improper cuts. Do-it-yourselfers tend to cut branches too close to the main trunk. Doing so removes what’s known as the branch collar, which is an area of the branch that helps it heal when wounded. So, cutting “flush” to the trunk ends up opening up a wound in the tree that’ll allow disease and/or pests in– not cool.

Wrong Timing

Also, let us talk about timing… certain times of the year a tree will be under stress and that’s when it shouldn’t be trimmed. Say, for instance, your tree has experienced intense heat, with little water to its roots, and parts of it receive hot sunshine daily– trimming it during extremely hot weather, then, isn’t a good idea. It can lead to “sun scald” wounds and damage.

Excess Trimming

Finally, avoid trimming too much off a tree at one time. In general, it’s okay to trim between 5 and 10% off. If you remove more than 15% of a tree’s foliage at one time, you’re asking for trouble. Trees need their foliage in order to produce food, transfer nutrients, and support themselves.

When you want professional tree trimming done, call Big Foot Tree Service of New Jersey at 973-885-8000.