Tree trimming is the cutting down of tree branches and limbs for safety, health, and, or aesthetics reasons. Tree trimming if done correctly can improve tree growth and prevent accidents. It could also improve the overall appearance of the tree.

  • Safety reasons. Weak, diseased, or dead limbs and branches are trimmed to avoid accidents as they could fall off anytime and cause damage to buildings, vehicles, pets, or people. Also, tree branches too close to the property are trimmed to avoid damage and aiding of burglars. Tree branches that obstruct safety signs or while driving are also trimmed. If a branch is within ten feet to a utility line.
  • Health – dead, diseased, or rotten limbs should be removed immediately to save the tree. Cutting of diseased and dead limbs go a long way in maintaining the health of a tree. Trimming of trees also improves air and sunlight penetration. Tree trimming to improve aeration and sunlight penetration prevents the lower limbs from dying off.
  • Tree trimming controls the growth pattern of a tree and is used to shape a tree as desired.

Yes! Tree trimming could be beneficial to your tree but it could also damage your tree. If not done correctly, it could cause more harm than good. What are the dos and don’ts of tree trimming?

Safety do’s and don’ts of tree trimming.

As one of the aims of tree trimming is for safety, it would be defeating the purpose if in the process there are personal or potential environmental accidents.


  • Be properly informed. To trim your tree successfully and without injury get knowledge. Learn the basics and requirements of pruning from professionals. This prevents personal injury and tree damage.
  • Dress properly. Most jobs have a safe dressing pattern and tree trimming is not an exemption. Wear long pants and sleeves. Use grain leather gloves and safety glasses. Shield your head. This protects you from potential injuries as a result of falling branches. Gear up before you trim that tree!
  • Use the right equipment. This doesn’t benefit the tree only it benefits the individual trimming the tree. The use of appropriate equipment reduces the risk of injury and accidents.


  • Never attempt to trim your tree without adequate knowledge.
  • Trim your tree without a good reason. If it does not include the safety of the environment, the health of the tree, or aesthetics then it’s not a good reason.
  • Trim a tree branch you cannot easily reach. Once you can’t reach the branch conveniently with your feet firmly planted to the ground, don’t trim. Contact a professional certified arborist.
  • Never attempt to trim a tree with a ladder and a chainsaw!
  • Trim tree branches within 10 inches of utility/power lines.


Tree health do’s and don’ts

Tree trimming should improve the health of the tree but sometimes it does otherwise if not done correctly. The following would guide in tree trimming practices to improve and maintain the health of your tree.


  • After storms and heavy winds, examine your tree for signs that your tree needs trimming. The pointers that your tree needs to be trimmed are damaged, weak or broken branches.
  • Cut off damaged, diseased, weak, or broken branches immediately you notice them. This prevents the spread of disease and damage to trees and property.
  • Prune trees that have overly bushy foliage. Also, trim branches close to buildings.
  • Prune to stimulate better flower and fruit production.
  • Prune when the tree is dormant to encourage new growth after the tree is out of dormancy. Most trees are dormant during winter. Prune after the coldest temperatures are over. Pruning in winter encourages new growth in spring.
  • To slow down the growth of a tree, prune in its active season. To slow the growth of diseased or problem branches prune in summer.


  • Prune off more than a quarter of total tree foliage at once. Doing so reduces the photosynthesis of plants and affects growth.
  • Prune any tree less than a year old for aesthetics reason. Young trees should only be trimmed to remove dead, diseased, and broken branches.
  • Use wound sealants or paints on trees. This results in moisture retention and could lead to rot.
  • Trim in fall when healing is slow and fungi are abundant in the atmosphere. The exemption is if you observe diseased or dead branches. They should be removed immediately they are discovered irrespective of the time of the year.
  • Prune in spring until the tree has fully blossomed.

It is important that pruning does not endanger anyone. Before pruning learn about proper pruning practices.