DIY Tree Trimming Tips
For your own safety, the safety of others and the health of your tree, we recommend that you call a professional. Because it is very dangerous, homeowners and professionals are frequently hurt and even killed while doing this work.
Vista Tree staff have been through extensive on-the job training. They are also required to undergo yearly professional development. We are insured so you can feel safe when you work with us. If you work by yourself, or with uninsured companies that aren’t trained, you don’t know what your risks could be.
Do-it-yourself tree trimming is a tedious job. Usually, clients have only cut part of their tree and realize they made a mistake. Sometimes it is just the realization of how difficult it can be to clean up a whole tree. This is not advice. We recommend you consult a professional.
There are some things that you should know if your DIY tree trimming job is safe and small enough.
Can proper pruning cause damage to trees
Pruning is an effective and safe way to maintain trees’ health, safety and beauty. It will not cause damage to the tree when done by a qualified arborist. There are so many best practices for tree pruning that it is difficult to list them all in one post.
Keep these things in mind:
- Do not overdo it
- You can’t do anything temporary.
- Trees can’t heal by themselves
- Take the proper cuts
If you make too many cuts, such as the top of the tree, or rip the bark, the tree will be irreparably damaged. While trees cover wounds, once they are damaged, they can’t be repaired. The larger the wound is, the more likely it to rot and spread throughout the tree.
This is why it’s so important to be familiar with basic tree biology and have a plan in place before you attempt DIY tree trimming. These sites are great for learning about trees and proper trimming.
- Purdue University’s Pruning Handbook
- New Mexico State University Tree Pruning Manual
- Fiskars Tree Trimming Guide
Which is the best season to prune?
Vista Tree offers year-round tree pruning services. Oak trees in Toronto shouldn’t be pruned during the winter due to the possibility of oak wilt. Oak wilt has been devastating oaks in the USA. It is currently on the move here. This disease can be prevented by pruning oak trees in winter. Doing DIY tree trimming is better than doing it in the winter. This will avoid cold and freezing conditions. However, if you plan to trim an oak tree yourself, it is best to wait until you have a professional help you. To find out about any potential pests or diseases, you should research the tree before you begin cutting.
Too much pruning can kill trees?
Yes. You need to be trained and have the knowledge to trim trees.
Over trimming a tree can lead to many problems. Many people don’t know that trees cannot heal from injuries. They seal over the wounds and prevent any further decay. It will be difficult for the tree seal a wound that is too large or poorly shaped.
Pruning a tree too much can cause stress. For trees to be able to produce energy, they need leaves. A portion of the energy produced by sunlight and leaves is used by branches, and only a fraction is used up by the whole tree. Too much of a tree or branch can cause severe problems for the rest of the branches and limbs, as their energy supply is reduced.
There is a tipping factor: once you have cut too many trees, the tree cannot recover from the injuries or the loss of energy from the branches and leaves it has cut.
You should start small when trimming a small tree. Make sure you only make a few carefully chosen cuts. A professional should be consulted if you need to trim larger branches.
Arborists are unable to undo damage that has already been done to trees, so we are often called when it is too late. It is difficult to remove large branches from green, or fresh wood without proper training. Every year, many people are hurt in tree trimming accidents. Don’t be one of them. Get a free estimate and consultation on tree trimming.
What equipment do you need?
A pair of bypass pruners, such as Felco #2s, will be needed for small projects. While trimming trees, it is important to wear safety gloves, a hardhat, steel-toe boots, and eye protection. The weight of wood is often underestimated, especially when you have leaves and a pointed end that is heavy towards your face.
Unprotected branches can easily fall, causing serious damage to your eyes, feet and head. You must use steel toe boots and chaps for chainsaw work. We don’t recommend or encourage the use of a chainsaw. If you must, use it only on a ladder.
Finally, if the branches you wish to trim are too tall or difficult to reach, hire a professional. Major retailers like Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Amazon sell pole saws and pole pruners. These tools are ideal for trimming small branches that are hard to reach but still close enough to the ground. You may consider it a great idea, but it’s a bad idea to put a ladder up against a tree and cut branches.
Why is tree trimming important
You probably came to this page looking for DIY tree trimming in Toronto. Large, dead or broken branches can pose danger if they are left unattended.
Trees that grow in urban environments are often exposed to high levels of sunlight, stress and extreme stress. You may find them overgrown, extending overtop your home, or having too many branches and/or limbs for them to grow in the future.
You can do DIY tree trimming if it is a small problem like a branch sticking out on a path. But if the tree keeps growing, it’s best to call an arborist. Sometimes we get called to help with trees that our clients have cut for years.