General Tips on Trimming a Tree

It is recommended to prune or trim a tree when it’s on its dormant season. Technically, you can prune or trim a tree any time, but it’s best to do the trimming when the tree is on its dormant season. The only exception to this rule is when a hazard exists.

Be conscientious about the branch’s size that you are going to trim or prune. If the branch is less than 5 centimeters in diameter, trimming is okay. However; if the branch is between 6 and 10 centimeters in diameter, think twice before doing it. If the branch measure 10 centimeters in diameter, trim or prune the branches if you have the best reason to do so.

Trim the branches that have V-shaped, weak and narrow angles. Don’t trim or prune the branches with strong, U-shaped angles.

If you are done pruning the tree, the ratio of tree height to living crown should be at least two-thirds. When you also try to prune the branches that are young, there is a lower risk of leaving scars because trimming at this point is easier to manage.

Another thing to remember is never trim a branch that is too long or too close. Don’t leave a branch collar or a large stub.


If you have to thin the tree’s crown, keep the following techniques and tips in mind.

  • Keep the branches which are lateral as even spaced as you can, especially on younger trees.
  • Prune or trim the branches that cross other branches.
  • Don’t remove more than ¼ of a living crown. If there’s really a need to remove it, spread it out for a couple of years.
  • If you wanted to provide clearance for pedestrians, raise the crown by gently trimming the tree. You should maintain the live branches on at least 2/3 of the height of the tree. Remember too that removing the branches near the bottom half will cause the tree to not develop a strong stem.
  • Remove the whole branch of the foliage if you have plans of removing more than half of it. If you are planning to reduce the tree’s crown, remove it if it’s really necessary.


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