Tree Trimming: A Do It Yourself Guide

While tree trimming primarily involves removing new growth around the outer portion of the tree’s perimeter for a better aesthetic appeal, you could also do some basic pruning or removing of the dead, unsightly, and insect-infested branches. When dealing with smaller subjects, tree trimming is a task which can be easily handled by the novice home owner. Though the project is one that is able to be done at any time of year, professionals suggest engaging in the activity in the early spring or late winter, as trees are dormant during this time.

This will effectively reduce the amount of overall sap flow from the stumps, thus allowing the tree to retain nutrients. In this article, we will run through a few choice techniques used to get the job done properly.

Required Tools:
1. Hard Hat
2. Safety Glasses
3. Pruning Shears
4. Chainsaw
5. Portable Buck Saw
6. Rope Saw
7. Pole Puner
8. Lopping Shears

Pruning Techniques:
When it comes to pruning, there are a few basic approaches, each with their own specific purpose:
1. Cleaning: Removal of dead, weak, or diseased branches from the crown

2. Thinning: Removal of branches in order to allow for added light to penetrate, thus reducing the stress of heavier limbs, while encouraging the shape to remain the same.

3. Reduction: Cutting limbs back in order to reduce the overall size, while making room for utility lines.

4. Raising: Removal of branches that are lower in order to offer clearings for vehicles, pedestrians, buildings, and views.

The Process

General Tips:
1. Find yourself a spot roughly 3 inches from the collar of the branch and make your cut around 1/3 of the way through. In this way, you will prevent the limb from tearing through the collar and harming future growth when severed.
2. Cut just beyond the first slice and cut straight through the limb.
3. Make the final cut through the remaining area of the branch, as close to the collar as you’re able, without causing damage to the collar itself.

In general, it’s not considered necessary to seal the stump left over after the trimming is completed. Nature tends to do a find job on its own. However, trees such as birch, oak, and elm are rather fragile and prone to disease. In these cases, you may choose to use a non-asphalt sealer.

If you find yourself in a situation which you’ve assessed is well over your head, it may be time to call in a professional. Hiring help will not only keep you safe from unnecessary injury, but will also allow the job to be done correctly. Call your local trimming company to schedule a consultation and see what your available options are.