Tree Trimming Guide for Beginners


Tree Trimming Sydney

Tree Cutting Services

Regular trimming and tree pruning services not only keep you’re landscaping beautiful but it’s also necessary to promote tree growth and health.

Improperly pruned or neglected trees can result in decayed trees; lessened property value increased potential hazards and liability, and increased maintenance costs.

Our guide reveals the why, when, and how of tree pruning and trimming.

Improved Structural Strength and Fewer Maintenance Costs

Timely pruning and trimming of trees help keep trees in excellent shape and remove defects such as weak branch attachments and co-dominant stems. Over time, such trees are less likely to suffer from structural defects that help avoid substantial maintenance costs.

Increased Tree Longevity

Well-maintained trees remain intact longer and are less likely to be hazardous or cause damage to the property. It's a good idea to make tree care a regular habit to keep trees growing at their best.


Trees add beauty and enhance your property but can also be dangerous if decayed limbs and branches are not treated well in time. Especially in a storm or during heavy winds, these branches or limbs can fall even in the slightest strong winds.

Increases The Curb Appeal of Your Property

Landscaping increases the property value and in fact, mature trees are known to increase the value of a home by more than 20%. Not only that well-maintained trees add visual interest to the landscape and take the home design to the next level.

When to trim trees

This largely depends on why you want to prune and trim the trees.
Light pruning and trimming to remove dead branches or wood can be done anytime. However, here are some reminders before you begin:

  • It is highly recommended to trim during its dormant season, usually the winter season. It is usually best to wait until the coldest part of winter has passed. It results in a vigorous burst of growth in the Spring and moreover, there is a lower risk of trees attaining pest infestation and diseases in their cuts.
  • Avoid pruning and trimming trees on wet, rainy days on when it is very humid outside.
  • Remove dead wood during summers when leafless branches can be easily spotted
  • Only trim branches that have weak V-shaped, narrow angles and retain branches with strong, U-shaped angles. Try to trim branches while they are still young because they are easier to manage at that stage and less likely to leave a nasty scar.
  • Do not leave stubs. Stubs die back and allow decay to enter the tree trunk or branch which shortens the tree’s lifespan and causes potential hazards.

Essential Tree Trimming Techniques

While there are many tree trimming techniques out there, the following are some basic guidelines. However, Pruning and trimming trees, large and small is both difficult and dangerous, therefore it’s best left to experienced arborists.

  1. Locate the branch collar - once you decide which branch to cut, locate the branch collar. A branch collar is an area where the branch is growing out of the tree.
  2. Next look for a ridge or circle where the bark is thicker and make the cut to remove the branch from just outside the branch collar so that the tree can heal itself.
  3. Make your cuts at a downward angle - it ensures that the water does not settle on the wound otherwise it can cause rotting.
  4. Don’t trim branches that are growing upwards - this will allow water to easily settle and cause the tree to rot over time.
  5. Just cut above the branch collar, don’t leave too long of a stub. Leaving too long of a stub makes it difficult for the tree to form a proper callus.

5 Steps to Trimming Tree Branches

  1. Trim off any suckers growing at the base of the trunk.
    Suckers are weedy looking branches that grow at the base of the trunk. These steal energy from the tree and therefore you need to keep pruning suckers as you see them growing.
  2. Remove all dead or dying branches
    Removing dead branches helps in making the task of pruning and trimming easier. With the dead branches out of the way, it becomes easier to work around branches and you can spot the branches that need to be trimmed.
  3. Prune out unwanted or hazardous branches
    Next, it’s time to trim low hanging branches that pose a safety hazard to your house. The aim here is to remove the obstruction by pruning the small branches that could fall over your house or car.
  4. Remove damaged and weak branches
    Damaged branches that may have broken or weakened in the storm are an invitation for pests and diseases. These damaged branches can also be a place for water to collect and rot the tree. Given the high risk, it is best to hire your local arborist near you to handle them with care.
  5. Trim out overlapping branches
    Next lookout for any overlapping branches that rub against each other. They can damage each other by rubbing against each other over time. Therefore, it is best to either trim both if they show signs of damage or remove the damaged one among the two.