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5 Biggest Mistakes Homeowners Do When Trimming Their Trees

Garden owners dream of their perfect outdoor space. A large field of grass with blooming colourful flowers and towering trees. Undoubtedly, children and pets would love to play and run around the area. And at night, it is an excellent hotspot for relaxation and calmness. 

Furthermore, most homeowners invest in planting trees to provide aesthetics, shade, fresh air, and hedges for their property. To achieve these benefits, proper tree care is essential. However, some garden owners don’t even know how to trim their trees the right way. Aside from sprucing up the layout of the lawn, proper trimming makes trees safer and more stable.

So that you can further understand and avoid improper tree care, here are the 5 biggest mistakes homeowners do when trimming their trees:

Mistake #1: Trimming at the Wrong Time

The right timing will always come. That is also the case for trimming your trees in the backyard. In general, most homeowners wait for the leaves to grow thick and obstruct other trees before removing them. Furthermore, dead and diseased branches are problems that need immediate removal. During those times, trimming might be necessary. But the best time to trim is during the trees’ dormant season. 

Trimming trees in late fall to late winter will make them grow healthy for the coming spring. Note that cutting branches off in warmer months may attract pests and damage trees altogether. Also, over trimming will make them more susceptible to diseases. Mature trees need trimming at least once every 3-5 years while younger trees require once every 2-3 years.  

Moreover, trees that act as hedges require trimming to maintain their form and foliage. Check out when is the best time to do hedge trimming through this article.        

Mistake #2: Improper Cutting Techniques

In cutting unwanted and dead branches, proper techniques are essential to prevent wounds. They minimise damages done on the tree and allow it to heal faster. Note that improper cuts can cause irreversible harms and may lead to the tree’s death. Here are two examples of unacceptable tree cuts:

Flush Cut

It is the method of cutting too close to the trunk or branch. According to Iowa State University’s Horticulture department, it weakens the natural defence mechanisms of trees. That leads to wound compartmentalisation and callus formation. So, when trimming, make the final cut just beyond the branch collar and branch bark ridge to avoid a flush cut. 

Stub Cut 

Opposite to flush cut, stub cut means cutting too far from the trunk or branch. The dying stub invites disease organisms and becomes a pathway for them to enter the tree trunk. Eventually, this would lead to the tree’s decay. To avoid a stub cut, make sure to retain the bark branch ridge, and the branch collar is intact. 

Mistake #3: Using Dull and Unsanitised Tools

Cutting off tree parts is not as easy as it seems. Aside from it being a heavy task, you also need the right equipment to prevent any harm. Dull tools can potentially strain the tree and leave jagged cuts. These produce open wounds that affect their growth and well-being. Furthermore, using unsanitised and dirty tools can spread bacteria and fungi across the tree. 

Thus, check first if you have the right tools and equipment for proper tree trimming. For safety, it is best to contact a tree service provider

Mistake #4: Trimming Any Branch

While it is necessary to cut dead and diseased branches, that is not the case for unwanted ones. Sometimes, you might want to remove the hanging branches under your home’s roof. However, considering these following factors is crucial:

  • How much of the branch to trim
  • Which branches need trimming
  • How to make the angle of the cut depending on its surrounding 

Improper trimming can affect the overall health of the tree. It is best to call for tree service providers like Trees Down Under assess the situation and provide the right solution. 

Mistake #5: Not Getting a Professional’s Help

Tree trimming is different from plant trimming. It requires the right knowledge and proper techniques to keep trees healthy and avoid accidents as well. Sharp tools, ladders, and falling branches are risks that you need to face, carefully. 

Moreover, if you want to maintain a visually appealing garden with trees, getting a professional will benefit you in the long run. Thus, getting help from expert arborists and gardeners is the best choice to make. 


Tree trimming requires in-depth knowledge and the right equipment and tools to do the job accurately. Presented with the 5 biggest mistakes homeowners do when trimming their trees, your safety should be your number one concern. That’s why Trees Down Under is 24/7 ready to attend to your trimming and garden needs. 

Our staff consists of expert arborists, landscapers, and gardeners who have studied and trained for years to bring unrivalled garden and tree services. We have developed excellent and efficient methodologies to fulfil our clients’ concerns. Since 2005, we are providing bespoke yet affordable residential tree services , commercial tree services, and industrial tree services in Sydney. 

So, Trees Down Under is the right partner for your trimming and other garden services. Contact us now at 0475 463 597, or send us a message via email.  

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