How do you trim a tree that is too tall? If you’ve ever had a tree in your yard that was just a bit too tall for the space it was planted in, then you are familiar with the dilemma of what to do about it. Do you trim it yourself and hope for the best? Or do you call in a professional? In this blog post, we’ll give you some tips on how to trim a tree that is too tall, so that your trees can stay healthy and happy while your landscape stays beautiful.
Avoid Topping Trees
Topping, otherwise known as the process of cutting off the top of a tree, is frowned upon because it is massively detrimental to tree health and destroys the tree’s natural shape. Topping a tree causes a gaping wound that makes the tree susceptible to rot, pests, and diseases. Not only does topping create an unsightly tree, but it forces the tree to create new, often weak branches that are more likely to break off.
Topping a tree should always be avoided. There are much better ways to prune and trim a tree!
How to Trim a Tree that is Too Tall
Pruning is more appropriate than topping for reducing the height of a tree, but it’s still not an easy task and should be done very carefully.
When pruning a tall tree to reduce its size, pruning cuts should be made just above lateral branches that are at least one-third the diameter of the branch being removed. Make the cuts at a 45-degree angle, sloping away from the center of the tree. This will help direct growth outward and prevent any weak angles from forming.
It’s important to note that pruning for height reduction is an uphill battle – you may not be able to get your tree to stop growing upward altogether, but you can help to slow it down. With careful pruning and a bit of luck, you can maintain the health and beauty of your trees while keeping them at a more manageable height.
Best Pruning Practices for Tree Health
If you’re going to try pruning your trees yourself, it’s important to know some basic tree pruning guidelines. When pruning a tree:
- Do not make flush cuts (cuts that remove the branch collar, or shoulder, of the branch as it connects to the tree). If you cut into a branch collar, you’ve cut into the tree’s trunk. This is an invitation for bacteria to enter and see how much damage they can do to the trunk before the wounds close.
- Do not remove more than 25% of the live crown in one pruning session. Removing too much of a tree’s canopy at once can negatively affect its health and growth.
- Choose the right time to prune. Don’t prune in the middle of summer, when trees are actively growing and photosynthesizing. Spring or winter are better times to prune, when trees are dormant.
Contact Professional Arborists
At Sexy Trees, our wide range of services and care will keep your trees healthy and beautiful for decades to come. We believe in supporting our communities of trees through evidence-based techniques that you can depend on.