American Tree Experts

5 Common Pruning Errors That Can Damage Your Tree

Are you making these 5 devastating pruning errors? Your tree could be at risk

Pruning is done for various purposes, including shaping the tree, eliminating damaged branches, and controlling plant size. Regardless of the reason, it’s crucial to prune trees correctly to support their health and ongoing development. Pruning mistakes can severely damage your trees rather than enhance their health and appearance. Read to learn about the common pruning errors that can kill your trees.

Tree Topping

  • Topping is a tree pruning method that involves cutting off its uppermost portion, a practice that causes significant stress on the tree. This method can disrupt the tree’s natural balance and structure, increasing the risk of it toppling over.

Tree Lopping

  • Tree lopping, like topping, involves improperly cutting or trimming branches to give a tree a slimmer or smaller appearance, often without considering the long-term effects on its health, strength, and structure. While a lopped tree may initially seem aesthetically pleasing or less demanding in terms of maintenance, this practice causes trauma and stress to the tree, potentially leading to fatal consequences in the future.

After lopping, the tree often sprouts new, unsightly growth known as epicormic growth. This growth tends to attach weakly to the tree’s outer layer, making it highly susceptible to failure. Additionally, the wounds left by lopping provide entry points for pests, diseases, and decay, significantly compromising the tree’s overall health. A weakened tree is more prone to falling over during severe weather or losing heavy limbs, posing risks to property and safety.

Excessive Pruning in the Growing Season

  • Heavy pruning during the growing season, typically from spring to late summer, can pose risks to the tree’s health. Removing numerous leaves during this time can deprive the tree of its food source, as leaves facilitate photosynthesis.

Moreover, summer often brings drought conditions, further stressing an already over-pruned tree. Additionally, excessive pruning exposes previously shaded bark to intense sunlight, leading to sunscald, which can damage the plant.

Heavy Pruning Throughout the Year

  • While excessive pruning during the active growth season can be harmful, it should be noted that over-pruning at any time of the year can induce stress in a tree, rendering it more vulnerable to diseases. Therefore, it is essential to remember that each pruning cut should be carefully made because every cut is a wound to the tree.

By removing branches, food resources are depleted, future growth is impacted, and the tree’s capacity for photosynthesis is diminished. Moreover, pruning creates entry points through which wood-decay fungi can enter the tree and cause internal decay. Several improper pruning cuts can ultimately lead to tree death.

Incorrect Pruning Cuts

  • pruning errorsMaking the right pruning cuts is essential for the tree’s health and safety. Improper cuts, such as flush cuts (too close to the trunk) or stub cuts (too far from the trunk), can cause irreversible damage.

A flush cut removes the branch collar, leaving a large wound prone to improper healing. Conversely, a stub cut leaves excessive dead branch material, which can decay inward, affecting the tree’s core. Both types of cuts can lead to decay and potential tree death.

Hire Professional Tree Pruning Services

  • Pruning a tree isn’t just about cutting off branches; it requires precision and expertise to ensure the tree’s health and vitality. Hire professional arborists with the knowledge, training, and experience to prune your trees correctly, taking into account the impact of each cut.

If you are looking for the best pruning and tree removal services for your trees, contact American Tree Experts Inc. today. We are a group of tree experts working in Montclair, New Jersey. Call us today at (973) 744-6091, and we will give you a fantastic quote for free.

Leave a Comment