Tree Care Basics: A Starter Guide

Tree Care Basics: A Starter Guide

Tree Trimming Myths That Make It Sound Scarier Than It Is

Johnni Knight

Tree trimming is important for a tree's ongoing health. And tree trimming is a skill that professionals spend time learning and refining. However, it's easy to exaggerate these facts, and sometimes that is what happens when people start talking about tree trimming. Some so-called "facts" about tree trimming end up being exaggerated to the point that they almost end up being mythologized. This can make homeowners more squeamish or rigid about trimming their trees than they really need to be. So, what common beliefs about tree trimming fall into this almost mythical category? Take a look.

If you prune the tree at the wrong time, it will die.

There definitely are good and bad times to trim a tree. Most trees are best off being pruned in the early spring, before buds even appear. If you prune them later than this, the tree will basically have wasted resources to create buds that you ultimately pruned away. This isn't good for the tree, and it may reduce the tree's growth that season, but it would be rare for this to actually kill the tree. 

Similarly, flowering trees are best trimmed later in the season after their flowers have died. Trimming them earlier is not ideal since you'll get fewer flowers — but again, this won't kill the tree.

The moral of the story here is this: It's a good idea to trim your tree at the right time, but if you screw up your timing, the consequences are temporary and usually minor.

Tree trimming is dangerous.

Can people get hurt trimming trees? Yes. However, not every tree trimming situation is dangerous. Trimming a tree near power lines is dangerous, and trimming a 60-foot tree from a ladder can be dangerous. So these situations are best handled by professionals.

However, the dangers associated with trimming your average ornamental or shade tree are minimal and easy to manage. There's a chance of cutting yourself, but if you wear cut-resistant gloves and are careful where you place your hands, this danger is minimized. Similarly, you don't have to worry about branches falling on you if you always stand to the side of the branch you're cutting. And if you have someone hold your ladder, your risk of falling goes way down.

Definitely hire a pro to handle really dangerous tree trimming tasks, but don't assume all tree trimming is too dangerous to do on your own.

Hopefully this article has opened your eyes to some of the nature of and nuances behind tree trimming. It's important for your trees, but it's not as life-and-death of a matter as some would have you think.


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Tree Care Basics: A Starter Guide

Proper tree care is an essential part of maintaining your property's appearance and overall well-being. After all, neglected trees can quickly become safety hazards if limbs should fall and damage your property. That's why it's important that you know how to take care of your trees. Luckily, this site is here to help. With the information on this site, you'll be able to better understand the different needs of each type of tree on your land. That way, you can tailor your tree care accordingly and you'll know when you should call a tree service for more help and ongoing care.