Topping Trees (and Other Pruning Mistakes)

A beautiful tree can transform a landscape. So can an ugly one. How can you avoid ruining your landscape with an unattractive tree? Make sure to avoid these common tree trimming mistakes.

5 Trimming Mistakes That Ruin Trees

  1. Topping. Have you ever driven past a row of crape myrtles with ugly, stumpy tops? This hack-and-slash pruning technique is called topping (also known as crape murder). It leaves trees weak, unattractive, and with a long road to recovery.
  2. Over pruning. It may be tempting to chop every branch that looks out of place, but over pruning leaves trees susceptible to disease and decay. If you find yourself tempted to trim half of the branches away, it may be better to remove the tree entirely.
  3. Abusing the canopy. Raising the crown of a tree can let sunlight filter to the grass, remove dangerous branches, and improve curb appeal. But when you raise it too high or prune only the interior of the canopy, you leave the tree looking strange, stunted, and vulnerable.
  4. cherry blossomsPoor technique. Many homeowners are tempted to cut branches flush to the tree trunk. This practice removes the branch collar, which helps the trunk heal the wound. Cutting a branch too close to the trunk leaves it vulnerable to pests and disease that enter at the site of the cut.
  5. Bad timing. Every tree has its season. While it’s advisable to prune dangerous or storm-damaged branches when the problem occurs, stick to seasonal pruning and shaping at the right time of year for each species.

Don’t stress about trimming your trees. Leave it to the pros. Call Mr. Tree and Lawn Service to trim, shape, or remove trees from your Gainesville property.