3 Bad Tree Pruning Practices That Can Harm Your Tree

As daffodils and irises bloom to life, North Carolina property owners often feel excited to get outside and start pruning their trees. But tree owners should use caution when undertaking trimming and pruning projects. Bad tree pruning practices damage growing trees and may result in your tree’s defoliation and decomposition.

Proper tree pruning in Apex, NC, requires training and tree health knowledge, so always work with licensed and trained professionals when caring for your trees. This blog post explores the three bad tree pruning techniques to avoid. Keep your beautiful trees happy, healthy, and hazard-free by considering common pruning mistakes.

Importance of Tree Health 

Trees cannot grow, flower, and foliate without adequate branches and foliage. Regular mulching, watering, and fertilizing can help stimulate new branch growth but can’t replace vital branch photosynthesis. 

Improper pruning techniques strip trees of potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorous. Nutrient-deficient trees remain exposed to the following dangers: 

  • Pest infestations
  • Frost cracks
  • Epicormic growth
  • Wood rot 
  • Wind damage 
  • Water sprouts

Moist, heavily damaged branches create suitable environments for mold growth and weaken your tree’s structural integrity. Avoid the countless dangers of improperly pruned trees by exploring the most common mistakes made during DIY tree trimming projects. 

3 Bad Tree Pruning Mistakes

Learning how not to prune your trees can help ensure your flowering dogwoods, white ashes, and red maple trees grow healthy and strong. The most common tree trimming and pruning mistakes include:

Flush Cuts 

Flush cuts occur when you remove too much of the branch collar—cuts made “flush” with the tree trunk. Flush cuts leave no stub and typically involve removing an entire branch from your tree. You should never make flush cuts into your trees, especially during the spring, as trees prepare for their dormancy periods. 

Damaged Bark 

Reckless tree trimming into tree bark damages bark, exposing trees to wood-boring insects, frost damage, and wood rot. Think of tree bark like human skin; if you scratch yourself, your skin becomes more vulnerable to infections. Similarly, bad tree pruning exposes trees to harsh weather conditions, nematode worms, and diseases. 

Lion Tailing 

Lion tailing involves cutting interior tree branches and leaving longer canopy branches untouched. After performing lion tailing, you may notice a flurry of small branches forming where you made the initial cuts. Trees respond to lion tailing by producing many small branches to photosynthesize and repair themselves. 

Tree Health Maintenance Tips 

Common practices used by tree care professionals during trimming and pruning services include: 

  • Crown raising
  • Crown reduction
  • Crown thinning  

Properly trimmed trees withstand any weather conditions and outlive their improperly cut counterparts. Explore trimming and pruning calendars to help you determine the best time of the year to undertake your next tree-trimming project in Wake County. 

Top-Rated Tree Trimming Experts 

J&D Tree Pros proudly serves Apex, NC, and the surrounding areas. We offer a wide range of stump grinding, tree removal, and tree trimming and pruning services for our local community. Call J&D Tree Pros at (919) 467-7997 to learn the answer to “Is pruning good for trees?” more about bad tree pruning practices, and to receive your free quote today! 

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