Tree Trimming: A Guide For The Homeowner

Most homeowners appreciate having trees on their property, as trees offer shade and add curb appeal. Trees, however, come with some maintenance issues. In addition to raking up leaves and twigs that have fallen, you will also need to trim your trees from time to time. Trimming, or pruning your trees regularly helps keep them healthy and attractive. Here is a homeowner's guide to this topic.

What to Look For

One of the most obvious questions concerning tree trimming is how do you know when a tree needs to be trimmed. A very obvious sign is a broken branch or branches. Always trim broken branches to make certain that they do not fall and injure a person or any pets. Dead branches should be removed as well. Any branches that are near a power line should be trimmed, but have this job done by a professional for safety reasons.

If a branch has broken or cracked bark, this is usually a sign that the limb is diseased or has been infested by insects. Go ahead and prune these branches. Branches that cross over other branches are not good for the tree's overall health, so remove any branches that cross over others.

The Best Time of Year

Experts say that the best time of year to trim your trees is in the winter when they are dormant. Trimming and pruning trees when they are dormant will ensure that you avoid making the mistake of cutting new growth, according to the BobVila home improvement site. A few exceptions to this rule exist, however. It's best to trim certain species of trees, such as crabapples and magnolia, in the spring or summer after blooming.


If you plan to trim your trees yourself, you will need to take a number of safety precautions because trimming trees can be hazardous. First, make sure that you wear all of the necessary personal protective equipment. This will include protective eyewear, gloves, a hard hat, and boots. See to it that no humans or animals are under the tree that you intend to prune. Make sure your trimming equipment, such as saws or loppers, is well-maintained. Also, do not work within ten feet of power lines for any reason.

Trimming trees is necessary to keep them in good shape, but the job is rather risky and many homeowners would prefer to leave the job to a professional. For more information about tree trimming or to engage the services of an expert, contact a tree service in your city.