Trimming trees, especially when they’re younger and are growing significantly throughout the years, is an incredibly important task. When trees are not trimmed, their limbs can grow irregularly, which will impact the overall shape of the tree as well as the safety and health of the tree. However, when tree trimming and pruning isn’t done correctly, it can also be dangerous for the health of the tree as well as your safety.

At Apex Tree Experts, we have years of experience in the Tacoma area providing you with exceptional tree care. From planting advice and guidance to annual tree trimming and pruning to tree removal and stump grinding when a tree has reached the end of its life, you can count on us for all your tree care needs.

If you do want to tackle tree trimming on your own, here are some tips to help you.

The Timing

The best time of year to trim trees is the late fall or winter. Trees are dormant during this time, so cutting away some limbs won’t harm the tree and can even promote healthier growth in the spring. The only time you would want to trim outside of these seasons is if there are signs of disease or if a limb is posing a threat to your property or family.

The Size of the Branch

It’s important to pay attention to the size of the branch itself and it’s in relation to other branches and the trunk of the tree. If a branch is five centimeters in diameter then it’s safe to trim. If the branch is between five and 10 centimeters, then you may want to consider not cutting it. Any branches that are thicker than 10 centimeters should not be cut unless there is disease, it’s too close to electrical lines, or hanging over your home.

Raising the Height of the Crown

When there are branches that are too close to the ground, it can obstruct views and make it hard to walk around. Raising the crown height should be done gradually so that the health of the tree isn’t harmed. Limbs that are less than four inches in diameter can be removed, but only trim back two or three limbs at most.

When the Crown Needs to be Thinned

When a tree’s crown is producing too much shade, especially when the very top of the tree is too dense, it can prevent sunlight from entering the lower layers of the tree and even prevent growth of foliage on the ground below the tree. To thin the crown, trimming needs to be consistent throughout the tree. On larger trees, look for limbs with smaller branch extensions that are one to four inches in diameter. On smaller trees, thin smaller limbs that are ¼ to ¼ inch thick.

Hire a Professional Tree Service

Even though tree trimming can sound fairly simple, when you’re actually looking at a tree and studying the size of the branches, it’s not as straightforward. Over trimming or cutting back limbs that are too large can hurt the tree, so it’s always best to let a professional use their expertise and equipment to get the job done right.

If you’re in the Tacoma or Gig Harbor area, Apex Tree Experts will ensure your trees are trimmed and pruned correctly. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.