How To Trim Trees Yourself

After your trees grow, you shall want to trim them either for shape or maintenance. Most people fear trimming trees by themselves and prefer calling in professionals. However, trimming trees isn’t a tough task as assumed. We share with you this guide on how to trim trees yourself to give you the right skills to get you started.  

Tools You Need to Trim Trees 

Trimming trees just like any other garden exercise requires specialized tools and equipment. For an easier job trimming your trees, you need to go for quality tools. Ensure your tools are clean and sharp before using them. Here are the tools that you need. 

  • Trimmer 
  • Hand pruner 
  • Pole saw attachment 
  • Safety glasses 
  • Loppers 

The Procedure of Trimming Trees by Yourself 

Prune out the suckers  

Suckers are those weak branches that grow at the base of a tree trunk. They never grow into string beneficial branches. They remain weak but still take a share of the tree’s nutrients. In case you have this kind of branch, do away with them first.  

Trim dying or dead branches 

Spot the dead or dying branches and start with them. This shall make space to access the remaining branches and decide which ones to trim.  

Prune branches that pause risks  

As a tree grows, some branches stoop too low causing a distraction, others grow over your roof, and many others. These pose security risks such as falling on your house or hurting someone. Such branches should be trimmed next. In case you have branches over your roof, exercise caution when trimming them, ensure they do not fall on your roof.  

Remember, some trimming tasks are better done by professionals, especially those posing threats. For instance, if you have a tree whose branches are growing towards an electricity grid, you better call professional trimmers. 

Remove broken and weak branches 

Winds and harsh weather conditions cause tree branches to break, others are inherently weak and of no value to the tree. It is time to trim these kinds of branches. Even if the branch is broken but alive, you should trim it out. 

Trim overlapping branches 

Branches that cross or rub against each other are bound to destroy each other as they develop. In case you have identified the issue at the early ages, trim out of them that is weaker. However, if the branches have already spoilt each other, you should trim both of them.  

How to Trim Appropriately 

In order to ensure your trimming isn’t going to affect your trees, you have to know how to trim trees yourself. Poor trimming leaves stumps which later on rot. Poor trims might encourage disease to your trees, therefore follow the below guide when trimming trees yourself. 

Start by locating the collar 

The branch collar is an important determinant of how your trimmed area shall heal or rot. The collar is the area between the branch and the trunk which either forms a lamb or a ridge. You should identify this area and take caution not to damage it. Always cut after the collar to encourage faster healing. Making a uniform cut shall also hasten to heal appropriately. 

Make your cuts at the correct angle 

In order to avoid rotting, ensure you cut your branches at the right angle. Cutting at a downward angle is the optimum way to ensure that water shall not clog on the cut area. This shall encourage faster healing and discourage rotting. 

Cut the right branches 

When deciding on the branches to cut, avoid branches that are facing upwards. When you trim branches that are facing upwards, the stump holds water making a rotting start point for the tree.  

Avoid leaving a too long stump 

When cutting the branches, avoid leaving too long stumps that are a distance from the collar. They make the healing of the wound take long and become uneven. Cut a few inches from the collar to enable faster healing. 

How to Trim Trees Yourself – When Should You Do It 

Trimming trees by yourself is easy for light projects that do not cause any hazard to you and your surroundings. In case you need to trim extra big trees and branches, ensure you seek the services of a professional trimmer. Trees that pose a potential danger to your property or life should be handled by professional trimmers. That said, you can always do the small to medium tasks depending on your experience, it saves money and is fun to do. 

As much as trimming has numerous positive advantages, too much of it or doing it in the wrong manner can kill your tree. Here are some tips to ensure you aren’t killing your trees. 

Avoid over trimming 

Constant trimming without allowing your tree to heal shall cause it to eventually dry. It denies the tree food due to the constant shading of the leaves. Allow time for your tree to heal and regenerate before another trim. Only trim your trees when necessary. 

Avoid cutting the collar 

As said earlier, cutting the branch collar is the worst mistake during tree trimming. The collar is responsible for the healing of the wound after cutting. If you cut the branch collar, it shall take long and most of the time get infected or rot. Always ensure that you cut slightly above the collar. 

Never cut the top of your tree 

Cutting the top of a tree is not necessary, it shall cause your tree to rot or die easily. The resultant wounds shall be facing upwards and therefore more chances of rotting. The tree shall also lose too many leaves, therefore, depriving it of its food. 


When learning how to trim trees yourself, the above are key areas you should be careful with. Cut your branches at the correct angle and at the correct point. Avoid damaging the tree collar and always call in a professional for complicated or massive trimming projects. And always put your safety first, wear protective gear and keep at safe positions and distances from falling branches. 

If you’re not sure how to do the trimming on your trees the right way, you may contact us for professional tree trimming service in Danbury, CT.

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