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Healthy trees protect your home and make your property more appealing. But, even with the best care, trees eventually begin to deteriorate.

At that point, you need to perform tree pruning to maintain their health and structure. Trees respond well to proper pruning, but improper pruning can lead to severe consequences for your tree.

Here are 5 common improper pruning practices that you should avoid as advised by a professional tree service by Timber Tree Service in Blaine.

9 Common Pruning Mistakes That Cause Damage to Trees

Tree topping

A common mistake is topping trees. When you top a tree, you remove all of its branches, usually at the same level. The result is a tall stump with no limbs for future growth—and a weak tree that may die from wind damage or disease.


Shearing refers to cutting off branches at an angle rather than straight across them (known as pollarding). This practice leads to weaker plants with less sunlight exposure and fewer nutrients, which can lead to disease susceptibility in plants such as roses and fruit trees such as apples and pears.


Another form of improper pruning is lion-tailing. This practice involves pruning away all the interior growth, leaving long branches with leaves only on the ends. This misguided attempt to “open up the tree” results in long, thin branches that storms can easily snap off near the base.

Pruning during drought conditions

Pruning removes some of the tree’s live tissue, forcing the tree to spend energy mending the pruning wounds. As a result, the tree experiences more stress, which can harm the tree in tough, dry conditions.

Pruning trees too often

Excessive pruning exerts stress on trees. Trees need to rest in between pruning sessions to allow them to heal correctly and grow strong new branches.

Not pruning diseased or dead branches

When you prune a tree, removing all dead, dying, or unhealthy branches is essential. If you leave these parts on the tree, they could cause damage to other branches and roots by blocking the flow of nutrients and water throughout the plant.

Cutting back more than one-third of the branch

You should also avoid cutting off too much at once. Make sure that you only remove one-third of the branch from a mature tree at any time. If you cut off too much, it will make it difficult for the plant to heal properly and could eventually lead to death.

Using shears instead of loppers

Shears aren’t ideal for dense woody material like main and lateral branches, which can cause them to break or bend rather than cut cleanly through like loppers do!

Pruning too low on the trunk

Removing branches from the bottom half of a tree’s trunk can make it vulnerable to wind damage because it doesn’t have as much support underneath.

Get Professional Help with Pruning and Tree Care in Blaine, WA

Tree pruning is a crucial part of a healthy garden and landscape. While mismanaged pruning can be harmful to your plants and trees, the right approach at the right time will keep your landscape looking sharp.

At Timber Tree Service, LLC, we can help you avoid improper pruning practices that ensure the long-term health of your trees. Always check with an arborist before taking drastic measures like removing large branches.

Arborists can help you identify what’s causing problems for your tree, including helping you to know the signs that a tree is dying.

Get in touch with Timber Tree Service, LLC today. Contact us at (360) 441-5033 to schedule a free inspection in Blaine, WA, and the surrounding areas.

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