Mistakes DIY Homeowners Tend To Make During Tree-Trimming Efforts

by Diane Barnes

If you want the trees on your property to remain healthy and continue to be more of an asset than a hassle, keeping your trees trimmed up nice and tidy is a good start. Even though tree trimming sounds like a simple DIY project that pretty much any homeowner can tackle, this is one project that often lands well-meaning homeowners with problems. To make sure you get the most out of your tree trimming efforts, it is a good idea to gain some knowledge first. Here is a closer look at a few of the mistakes homeowners tend to make with a DIY tree trimming project. 

Mistake: Working on tree trimming from top to bottom instead of from the bottom to the top. 

Why? Your first inclination, if you are like a lot of homeowners, will be to climb up in the tree using a ladder and make cuts starting at the top. However, it is always more logical to work your way from the bottom of the tree up to the higher branches. If you start at the top where branches tend to be shorter, you could end up cutting off too much and leaving the tree looking off or out of shape. Plus, cutting from the top will mean the higher cut branches will usually get trapped in the lower branches on the way down. Taking off limb sections from the bottom gives you greater control over the falling branches.

Mistake: Cutting the tree's lateral limbs too short. 

Why? The lateral limbs of a tree are its primary branches. These are the thick limbs that reach directly out from the tree trunk and are most often covered in smaller branches. If you cut these lateral limbs too short, you will be stunting the tree's ability to grow correctly. Furthermore, by cutting off large sections of these lateral limbs, you could be inadvertently removing a whole section of growth that makes the tree look fuller because there are so many other branches attached. 

Mistake: Not using rope to control falling when cutting large branches. 

Why? If you are cutting off a basic tree limb, it is easy to assume that you know exactly which direction the limb is going to go when it alls. However, it is not at all uncommon for a tree limb to be more dense and heavy in one section or have more attached growth on another, both of which could alter how the tree limb falls when it is no longer attached to the tree trunk. It is a good idea to use a heavy-duty rope to pull the limb in a specific direction as it is being cut so there will be some control.  

If you're inexperienced with trimming your own trees, it's best to contact a company like Smitty's Tree Service Inc to ensure that the job is done correctly and safely.