How Bad Tree Pruning Practices Can Damage Your Trees

Pruning is an integral part of keeping your trees healthy and beautiful. It also helps maintain safety around your property by removing weak branches. However, this tree care practice can be disastrous if you don’t do it correctly.

In this post, we dive deeper into the consequences of bad tree pruning and what to do about it, as advised by Rockland’s tree trimming service company. 

Tree Topping Predisposes the Tree to Damage

A common mistake is chopping off the top of a tree to make it smaller. Many people opt for topping as a quick way to prevent a tree from getting too close to power lines or structures. 

Unfortunately, this short-term remedy can leave you with costly long-term issues. When you cut the main branches, you expose the trunk to damage and diseases. Similarly, removing too many leaves from the tree’s canopy leaves the trunk exposed to sun scalding. 

Since trees make their food through the leaves, a topped tree won’t have sufficient nutrients for healthy growth.

Lion Tailing Causes Structural Weakness

Another bad tree pruning habit you should avoid is “lion tailing.” This happens when you remove interior branches and leave foliage only at branch ends. 

Why is this practice bad? It removes excess foliage, compromising the photosynthesis process. Additionally, redistributing weight to the branch ends can weaken the tree’s structure.  

Bad Pruning Cuts Encourage Diseases and Pests

Torn bark and large stubs left after pruning are signs of a bad pruning job and can leave your tree vulnerable to pests and diseases that affect the internal parts of the tree. 

When this happens, you’ll have to spend a fortune to treat and save the tree. Otherwise, you’ll contend with a structurally disfigured and dying plant.

Another common bad pruning habit is cutting branches too close to the trunk. A good rule of thumb is to make pruning cuts above the branch collar. This is the bulging area just above the point of intersection between the branch and the trunk.

Be sure not to damage or remove the collar. Otherwise, the pruning cut won’t heal properly, leaving the tree exposed to disease or pest infestation. 

Pruning in Fall Interferes With Tree Growth Habits

It’s best to prune your trees and shrubs in winter when they’re dormant. Fall pruning may eliminate the leaf and flower buds that your tree has already developed during summer growth. These buds remain dormant throughout the winter season and bloom in the spring. Removing them means you won’t have springtime flowers, and the tree will have to use more energy to generate replacement buds for foliage. 

Contact Your Local Tree Experts for Assistance

To avoid the detrimental effects of bad tree pruning, you should work with an experienced arborist to ensure the work’s done right. You can count on Top Notch Tree for proper pruning in Rockland, MA. Call us at (781) 871 8008 for a free estimate and avoid the dangers of DIY trimming!

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