How To Trim A Tree Effectively Trimming a tree is a necessary practice for trees that contribute to landscaping. However, it is important to keep the tree's well-being in mind. Improper or excessive trimming can affect the growth patterns and lifespan of the tree. No part of the tree should be cut off unless there is a reason. Good reasons for pruning a tree involve clearing away dead limbs, clearing crowded areas and avoid hazards. Another reason that is sometimes used for pruning a tree is the need to increase air and light to the inner area of the tree's crown. Users should know that regularly thinning a tree does not contribute to the health of the tree. Sugar created by the tree's foliage helps to fuel the tree and give it energy. Thinning the leaves can place a strain on the health of the tree by removing its energy source. This practice can reduce the growth of the tree. The best time to prune is prior to the growth of spring. This helps minimize damage and maximize tree growth. However, many times during the year can be effective trimming times. Users should be aware that some trees can be susceptible to diseases that are spread by spores accessing the open cuts of the tree. It is a good idea to be aware of these diseases that spread by open cuts and to avoid pruning susceptible trees during high disease times. Pruning directly after the spring flush of new growth should not be done. The tree has used a lot of energy to produce new foliage and trimming at this time can weaken it. When cutting a branch, the cut should be located outside the branch collar. This is the area connected to the tree trunk that contains tissues from the parent branch. If there is a need for removing a large branch, the first step to trimming it is to reduce the overall branch weight. To do this, first cut from underneath the branch 12-18 inches from the branch's connection to the tree. A second cut should then be made directly above the cut, or a few inches further along the limb. This allows the branch to break off without tearing the bark. The last step is to cut the remainder off right past the branch collar. When contemplating what amount of the tree should be trimmed, users must consider the overall age, health and size of the tree. It is easier for young trees to recover from pruning than it is for mature trees. Further, trees are better able to handle multiple small cuts than they are one large wound. Removing too much foliage on the inner part of the tree is a mistake that is often made. A balanced distribution of limbs helps the tree to maintain health and balance. When it comes to mature trees, minimal pruning is needed. Less than Âź of the tree's leaf bearing crown should be trimmed. This amount can cause issues if trimmed from a mature tree.