Tree Trimming Tips + Safety

Tree Trimming Tips + Safety

While tree trimming, your number one priority should be safety. Your immediate goals may be to remove an over grown branch or trim some unsightly leaves, but what you should keep in mind is that you or your tree could suffer from careless cutting. Many people find themselves needing to trim branches that have grown into inconvenient areas, are damaged and diseased or that just need trimming so their tree is aesthetically pleasing. Here are a few ways to keep you and your tree safe while trimming.

Before Starting

Before you start cutting, there are a few things you need to think about. First, what do you want to cut? You need to make sure you have a plan so you reduce your chances of making a mistake and prevent possible injury. Next, you’ll need to make sure you have the correct equipment. For greener, growing branches, an easy tool to use is bypass pruners. When trimming more established branches, the best tool to use is anvil pruners.* For accuracy, make sure you have a ladder. This will improve your stability as you’re cutting and reduce your chances of personal injury by allowing you to cut comfortably and not over your head. Lastly, to prevent scrapes or splinters, use gloves for safety.

The First Cut

Now that you have your plan, equipment and protective gear, it’s time to start cutting. Identify the branch’s stem collar, a chemically protective area of tissue where the branch extends from the trunk. Your first cut should be made about 6 inches away from the trunk of the tree. This cut will be made from the underside of the branch and should only go halfway through the branch.* This will help prevent cracking the stem collar in case your branch is too heavy and begins cracking as you’re cutting. Your second cut should be from the top about 3 inches farther away from the trunk than your first cut. This cut should be completed all the way through the branch.* The final cut will be cutting back the remaining stub to your liking.*

There are a few things you should be cautious of during tree trimming to ensure your and the tree’s safety. Cutting off the stem collar may result in serious damage to your tree. The stem collar acts as a protective layer, and when it is cut your tree trunk is more susceptible to decay.* If your branches are larger, or could possibly fall on something else, tie rope to them before you cut and slowly lower the branch once it’s cut. This will help prevent damage to people, property and lower branches.

Ladder misplacement may also prove to be disastrous. Push your ladder up against your tree, close to the branches you intend on cutting and make sure the legs are firm on the ground. This will prevent you from having to reach too far and increase your stability.*

Final Tree Trimming Tips

Lastly, if you are unsure whether or not your tree should be trimmed, call a professional. Professionals are able to trim larger branches, diagnose damaged ones and apply a treatment to your tree, such as fertilizer blended with Pellet 3-IA, that enhances the overall health. With these tips, your trimming experience should be easy and quick, leaving you with beautiful, healthy trees!

Tree Trimming Tips
9 Comments
  • Local Tree Pros
    Posted at 09:10h, 20 March Reply

    We have recently started a new tree trimming and service business and came across this site and helpful information. Most people don’t have a clue when it comes to trimming and maintaining trees, so we appreciate you putting this info out there. Great stuff! Thanks! : )

  • Tree Service Cary
    Posted at 21:20h, 31 March Reply

    Great information and accurate! We recently started a new tree service business and came across your article. Thank you for taking the time to put an emphasis on safety. Too many people leave it up to chance. Thanks again or the nod to professionals!

  • Charles
    Posted at 05:47h, 11 May Reply

    Hey! This is awesome tips. I am actually looking for a blog post about tree trimming. I’m glad that I stumble upon your site. I got all things that I needed. Thank you very much!

  • Jason Devi
    Posted at 10:36h, 16 May Reply

    This article has a lot of great information in it! So many people just start cutting away branches and don’t even think about the damage they can cause!

  • Tommy
    Posted at 21:09h, 23 May Reply

    This is great information to share, thank you for writing this. Hopefully some will read it and realize that tree trimming isn’t just taking a chainsaw and hacking away, it’s so much more than that!

  • Tree Maintenance
    Posted at 08:48h, 09 June Reply

    Tree trimming is often overlooked, but it is important for the health of the tree and just general safety. Thanks for sharing.

  • Taylor Bishop
    Posted at 07:48h, 18 July Reply

    I didn’t know that the stem collar can act as a protective layer, and without it will make a tree decay faster. Definitely glad I researched more about tree care, especially so that I can keep it alive for as long as possible. That being said, I’d be interested in seeing a statistic regarding this, and how quickly a tree can decay with the stem collar cut compared to other trees.

  • Derek Dewitt
    Posted at 07:44h, 21 July Reply

    I have to trim the tree in my front yard because it’s getting too big so this article was exactly what I needed. I like that you make two separate cuts on the branch to stop it from breaking and falling while you are still trimming it. Having a second insert takes the pressure off the base of the tree so you have more control too. I’ll have to try this out once I get the other supplies ready. Thanks a lot!

  • Troy Blackburn
    Posted at 19:49h, 12 September Reply

    Thank you for all the helpful tips about tree trimming. I feel that now I have a good perspective on tree trimming, I may just have to advice my cousin against doing it himself. He has quite a large tree in his front yard and I think it will have to require a tree service professional.

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