Avoid these 7 Tree Pruning Mistakes for a Happy, Healthy Tree

At some stage of the year, your trees will need pruning to stop them becoming unruly. While it’s possible to prune small trees yourself, larger trees should be pruned by qualified Arborists so you don’t risk endangering or possibly killing off your tree.

Alongside possibly damaging your tree, you can endanger yourself or others by not pruning your tree correctly. If you struggle with tree pruning, call in your local expert arborists in Brisbane. Here are 7 common tree pruning mistakes to avoid;

Cutting Right too close to The Trunk

Pruning a tree too close to the trunk is a common rookie mistake. Also known as ‘cutting the branch collar’ or a “flush cut”, this practice can leave your tree open to infection and decay. Knowing where to a branch correctly takes years of practice to perfect and unfortunately it’s not something that can be taught quicky.

Topping / lopping (Trimming from the Top of a Tree)

This is a common tree pruning mistake performed by beginners. The thing is, after topping your tree, you’ll notice the growth of water sprouts or epicormic regrowth. These are thin sprouts that look like twigs which can sap energy from the tree and maybe stunt its growth. This epicormic regrowth is widely known to be up to 80% weaker than naturally formed branches and therefor far more likely to delaminate during a strong wind event!

Removing the Largest Branches

The largest branches on your tree play a big role in the health of its system. If you suddenly cut these big ones away, it can be hugely traumatic for your tree. A rule of thumb is to not prune branches that are 15cm or wider in diameter as this can be too much for the tree.

Not Protecting Tree Bark

Always make a plan before you start hacking away at a tree. The bark needs to be protected, otherwise falling branches can rip parts away. Try the three-cut method which helps branches fall away from the tree. Always start to cut from the base of the branch, so it doesn’t rip bark away.

Leaving Small Branch Stubs

While it’s bad to cut too close to the trunk, it’s also not recommended to leave a branch stub as this will also result in the unwanted epicormic regrowth.  

Over Pruning the Tree

As a new tree pruner, you may get over zealous with your pruning and take away too much off your trees branches. Make sure you have a plan in place of what areas and how many branches you’ll prune. If you over prune this can cause; tree stress, stunted growth, rotting and decay, sucker growth and uneven growth.  Australian Standards AS4374-2009 “Pruning of Amenity Trees” allows for not more than a 20% leafy reduction within a 12 month period

Trying to Do It All Alone

Professional arborists in Brisbane spend many years learning and practicing their tree pruning and tree lopping skills. While it can be tempting to DIY your tree pruning, it is worth it to invest in professional tree services. It can save you a ton of time, money and stress from if you possibly harm your tree. Don’t feel you have to do it alone – North Brisbane Trees are here to help.