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The 5 Biggest Mistakes Homeowners Make When Trimming Their Own Trees

Trees are an integral part of our environment and provide numerous benefits. However, when trees grow beyond their limit, they can be hazardous to homeowners and nearby property. That’s the reason why homeowners need to trim their trees regularly. But, trimming trees can be risky, so it’s imperative that you approach the task with caution and avoid making costly mistakes. In this blog post, we’d be discussing the 5 biggest mistakes homeowners make when trimming their own trees.


The biggest mistake that homeowners make when pruning their trees is over-pruning. Over-pruning occurs when homeowners cut too many branches back to the trunk of the tree. When this happens, it can cause the tree to go into shock, stress, and decline the overall health of the tree. Always remember to cut only the necessary branches and leave at least two-thirds of the tree’s foliage remaining.

Using The Wrong Tools

Using the wrong tools is another common mistake that homeowners make when trimming their trees. Using tools such as kitchen knives, saws, and other non-specialized tools can cause more harm than good to the tree. Always use the appropriate tools such as pruning saws, loppers, and hand pruners. These tools are more effective and make the job easier.

Improper Timing

Another mistake that homeowners make when trimming their trees is cutting their trees during the wrong time of the year. Generally, trees should be pruned during the dormant season (the period when the tree is not actively growing). Pruning during other periods can lead to damage, disease, and insect infestation.

Not Considering The Tree's Growth Habit

Homeowners also make the mistake of not considering the tree’s growth habit when trimming their trees. Each tree species grows differently, and homeowners should be mindful of those differences. Cutting back certain branches can cause the tree to grow in an undesired direction or cause the tree to become lopsided.

Neglecting Safety Precautions

Safety is of utmost importance when it comes to tree trimming. Neglecting necessary safety precautions can result in serious injuries and fatalities. Always ensure that you wear a helmet, gloves, steel-toed boots, and eye protection when trimming. Ensure that you have stable footing, do not use ladders, and if necessary, work with a professional tree trimmer.

Homeowners have good intentions when they decide to trim their trees. However, it is important to know the right way to trim trees to preserve their health, beauty, and keep them safe. Avoiding these 5 biggest mistakes when trimming your own trees can help you avoid costly procedures and keep your trees healthy and safe. If you are uncertain about how to trim your trees, consult with one of our ISA certified arborists to avoid mistakes and accidents.

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