Six Common Tree Pruning Mistakes 

   One of the best ways to enhance your yard is to plant a tree.  As the tree matures, it's important to prune it properly.  A crown reduction may even be necessary in some cases.But tree trimming isn't as simple as grabbing the nearest chainsaw! In fact, these tools can do more damage then good in the hands of a homeowner or under-qualified handyman. That's why it's important to hire a tree trimming specialist. 

When a tree is improperly pruned, it can be an eyesore and make the rest of yard look ugly by association. A well maintained tree can raise property values as much as 15%, for your home, in Orlando. Tree trimming that is done sloppily, whether through an innocent mistake or negligence, can have the opposite effect, bringing down property values for the entire neighborhood. Here are the six most common mistakes to avoid, so you don't become your neighbor's worst enemy:

1. Topping - This is one of the most glaring errors in tree maintenance. Also known as "hat-racking" or "heading", topping involves the indiscriminate removal of tree branches. It's frequently done by homeowners who believe their trees have gotten too big for their property. Tree trimming done in this way encourages the tree to grow in an unsightly patter, if it survives at all! Topping weakens the new branch structure and makes the tree more hazardous in the long run. 
2. Flush cutting - This type of pruning involves cutting a branch below the collar, flush with the supporting branch or trunk. Flush cutting was the standard pruning practice for many year, but we have since learned that this practice results in uneven bark thickness, and removes trunk tissue, exposing the tree to invasion by pests, disease and fungus. At best, flush cutting can create a big rotten hole on the side of the trunk; at worst, a weakened branch could fall on your home or property. 
3. Lopping - When a branch is cut anywhere other than at a union or node, this is called lopping. It may be appropriate for dense hedges, but when it's done on a branch, it creates little "watershoots" - tiny branches that stick up like hair. These watersprouts may or may not be as sturdy as the remainder of the tree, and this new growth can happen fast, making it necessary to redo the lopping every season. In addition, lopping can leave the tree more susceptible to decay. Plus, the tree may never recover to its former beauty.
4. Pruning in harsh weather - Timing your trimming is crucial to protect the life of your tree. Spring is usually the best time for heavy pruning. The University Of Florida recommends that you begin pruning flowering trees after the last blossoms fade, but before new buds set. On the other hand, trees that produce flowers on current seasons growth, like Crape Myrtle and Hibiscus, are usually pruned while dormant or just before the Spring growth flush. For other trees like Oaks, Mahogany, Black Olives, Hickory, and other large shade trees, it's best to trim them during the dormant season, but they can be trimmed at other times. Just make sure you don't trim them as they're entering dormancy or emerging from it.    
5. Leaving a stub - One of the most common, novice tree pruning mistakes you can make is leaving a stub. That is because branch collars can be difficult to spot on certain types of tree species. You'll know if a mistake was made when the bark begins to fall off the stub. This unsightly mistake can invite insects and various forms of rot and disease to set in, slowly killing your tree.  
6. Pruning an Evergreen - In general, Evergreens (Conifers) require little pruning. Certain species such as Podocarpus, Jasmines, Holly, Boxwood, Ligustrum, Juniper, and Wax Myrtle, that can be found in Central Florida, can be pruned anytime. You can encourage a more compact plant by removing one half of the candle in the Spring, just before needle expansion. To encourage rapid shoot development and greatest overall plant growth, prune just prior to the first spring growth flush. 

   These are common tree pruning mistakes that can happen to your trees in Orlando. Tree trimming should be left to the experts that know how to shape your tree to encourage proper growth, while also creating an aesthetically pleasing shape. If you'd like a free consultation on Greater Orlando tree trimming for your home or office, call 407-257-2478 or send us an email:

PAUL@888CLEANUP.COM * 407-257-2478