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10 Things to Remember When Trimming Your Trees

Besides giving shade to your property, planting trees in your backyard takes away pollutants and gives fresh air. Just a fun fact, a single mature tree is enough to provide oxygen to four people. So planting them in a highly urbanised city is beneficial for the residents. Furthermore, trees are the perfect solution to increase privacy and provide a visually appealing garden layout.

However, just like other plants, trees need care and maintenance. Specifically, trimming them is essential for healthy growth, and to avoid accidents from falling branches. So, if you are a garden owner, here are the 10 things to remember when trimming your trees:

  1. Inspect Your Tree

Tree garden owners often neglect the state of their tree. Unknowingly, diseases and pest infestations already penetrate the tree trunk. If ignored, they can be a falling hazard and cause property damages and accidents. Trimming trees is one of the solutions to keep them healthy.  To spot tree diseases, you can look for these signs:

  • Vertical cracks and seams on the trunk
  • Discolouration and deformation of leaves
  • Seeping fluid
  • Peeling bark
  • Reduced foliage
  • Presence of termites
  • Changes on the soil around the tree

It is best to call for emergency arborists for a full tree checkup, and they might provide solutions right away.  

  1. Equip Right Tools and Machines

You cannot trim a tree with just scissors. Tree trimming requires cutting off branches, twigs, and leaves. Thus, you need the right tools and equipment, such as shears, pruners, and loppers, to finish the task. Moreover, it is vital to have a ladder for climbing and safety gears for protection. 

Also, note that low quality and unsanitised tools can bring diseases on trees. They can be bearers of infectious fungi and bacteria. Meanwhile, improper cutting from unpolished and low-quality tools results in rough marks and wounds that attract tree diseases. 

  1. Get Necessary Permits

Local councils don’t permit irresponsible cutting of trees or their parts. So, depending on the kind of work, you need to get necessary permits. Different cities have different regulations. For Sydney, you can check their tree pruning and removal guidelines here

  1. Remove Dead Tree Parts

Trimming trees is not only limited to their foliage. It also involves cutting unwanted and dead branches and twigs. Fungi and bacteria are attracted to them. Moreover, they can potentially fall in your property and cause harm to you, your family, or passersby. 

To remove dead limbs and twigs safely, cut them not more than 6mm from the bud to prevent dieback. However, large branches need more than one cut. For the first cut, make a partial cut on the bottom part, a few millimetres away from the branch origin. Then, make a second cut on top, few millimetres away from the first cut. After that, the branch will freely fall. 

  1. Avoid Improper Trimming Cuts

Trimming too close to the trunk or branch produces a flush cut. It destroys the trees natural defence mechanisms that lead to wound compartmentalisation and callus formation.  

On the other hand, trimming too far from a branch can leave a dead part on the tree. It invites disease organisms and becomes a passageway to enter the trunk, affecting the tree as a whole. Eventually, it could lead to decay or death of the tree.   

  1. Trim Depending on the Age of Trees

The trimming volume for trees depends on their age. Young trees can lose 25% of their overall foliage. Meanwhile, mature trees can only withstand 15% of their foliage removed. As young trees have more energy and strength for recovery, that is not the case for old ones. 

Trimming more than 15% of a mature tree’s foliage will lessen food and nutrient production within its system. Moreover, if mature trees get sick, losing their foliage may eventually lead to their death. 

  1. Trim Trees at the Right Time

For more efficient growth, trimming trees at the right time is crucial. In particular, evergreen trees that don’t drop their leaves during autumn need shaving during their dormant season. 

The perfect season for tree trimming is during late winter to early spring because of the following reasons:

  • Wounds heal faster.
  • There are lesser risks for pest infestations and diseases.
  • Sap flowing is not an issue. 
  • Effortless to trim as leaves are gone for deciduous trees
  1. Avoid Applying Dressing to Wounds

In case trimming produces wounds, some recommend applying a dressing to them. They claim that it prevents decay, speeds up healing, and enhances the appearance of the cut. But in reality, they hinder healing and invite rot organisms and pest infestations. So from now on, it is best to avoid putting dressing on tree wounds. 

  1. Clean Debris and Green Waste Right Away

After trimming, remember to clean tree debris and green waste right away. These can become tripping hazards and cause accidents. Furthermore, leaving them for several days in the backyard can invite pests and rodents. These are threats to human health and the community’s sanitation system. 

Also, note that local council pickups don’t collect green wastes thicker than 10cm and more massive than 100kg. So if you need an immediate solution, Trees Down Under Green Waste Removal is just one call away.  

  1. Be in Touch with an Expert

Let’s be honest. Most garden owners don’t know the right procedures for tree trimming. Most of the time, they create more harm than good. Thus, getting in touch with expert arborists is crucial to maintain and keep your backyard trees healthy. From trivial methods of foliage trimming to extensive tasks such as chopping large and heavy branches, they have the right tools and equipment. 


Tree trimming is essential to keep backyard trees healthy and prevent diseases and pest infestations. Always remember the 10 things related to tree trimming presented through this article. And if you ever need a backup, Trees Down Under is your one call away partner. 

We have a team of professional arborists, landscapers, and gardeners who can give bespoke solutions to your tree and lawn problems. With more than 30 years of experience, we are the best tree service provider here in Sydney. 

After your call, we make sure to dispatch a reliable and service-oriented team of experts for quality and efficient services. Equipped with the right tools and machines, we promise to do the job without mistakes!

We are available 24/7 for tree trimming and other garden services. Contact us at 0475 463 597, or send us a message via email

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