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The Risks Of DIY Tree Pruning

Advantage Tree Service explains the dangers of trimming your own trees and what they can do to help.

For the average homeowner, tree trimming can be a hassle. Most homeowners are not equipped to properly handle any more than a light seasonal trimming to smaller trees and shrubs. Larger jobs, like trimming a large tree away from your home require special equipment like lifts, harnesses, and chainsaws that can be dangerous if untrained on their proper uses. Pruning can also be damaging to the trees if not done properly.

To safely achieve properly trimmed trees, it is often best to forgo attempting to do it yourself and hire a professional arborist.

Trimming Your Own Trees Is A Risky Job

Trimming trees is a dangerous job even for the professionals that do it every day. When trimming a tree, there are several steps that an arborist will take. To prune trees safely, arborists must scale the tree to dangerous heights or be lifted in specialized lifts. Amongst amateurs and professionals alike, falls are very common when doing tree work, often ending in serious injury.

Once the tree trimmer gets to the appropriate place in the tree, they make determinations about how to trim limbs that need it without causing damage to the tree. Once they decide to make a cut, they need to work out how to safely lower the debris so that it doesn’t damage the property below. A common mistake that amateurs make is not correctly protecting the surrounding property and causing damage from the falling debris.

Poor Pruning Can Damage Your Trees

Pruning trees can be hazardous not only to the person doing the work but also to the tree. Trees have immune systems just like humans. Each cut that is made on a tree is an opening in that immune system that can allow infection into the tree, just like a cut to a human’s skin. There is only so much damage that can occur on a tree before serious issues that can even include the death of the tree.

Pruning not only compromises the ability of the tree to protect itself from foreign invaders, but it can also dangerously unbalance the tree. When homeowners decide to trim their own trees, they often will only trim one side to keep the limbs away from homes and power lines. Removing weight from one side of the tree causes instability that makes it more likely that the tree can be pushed over from high winds or winter storms.

Certified arborists have the training and equipment to prevent both types of damages, to their workers and your trees. Arborists are equipped and insured to prevent accidents and protect you and your home if an accident does occur. Furthermore, arborists have the knowledge to be able to perform a tree trimming without doing further damage to the tree.

Common Tree Trimming Mistakes

Trimming trees may not seem too complicated but to do it properly takes training. Without having the proper knowledge to maintain the health of the tree, you could risk damaging your tree or having to perform more pruning because it was done improperly at first. Mistakes that are commonly made by amateurs can include:

  • Trimming too much – Limbs and leaves represent the tree’s abilities to make food for itself. Every cut is depriving the tree of nutrients that it needs to grow big and strong.
  • Poor trim cuts – Improperly made cuts can leave stubs that will die. As the stub dies, decay can travel back down the trunk of the tree leaving it hollow and allowing a fungal infection to take hold.
  • Bad timing – Trees must be trimmed while dormant. Dead limbs can be removed while the tree is actively growing but pruning should be done when the tree is dormant.
  • Topping cuts – Many people believe topping cuts are done to control the height of the tree but this is not the most effective method. Topping cuts encourage sucker growth that ultimately adversely affect the tree and will require near-constant yearly pruning to mitigate.

How Advantage Tree Service Can Help

Advantage Tree Service has been Des Moines, IA’s choice for tree care for over 17 years. With a strong commitment to safety and the health of your trees, they are fully licensed, insured, and trained as arborists. Unlike other companies that just come to your home and remove massive amounts of your tree crown, our arborists take the time to inspect your tree and understand its needs. All our tree services are tailored towards ensuring the best look and health results for the longevity and safety of your trees. Call (563) 355-7508 today for help with tree health assessments, stump grinding, or tree removal.