How to Fix Pruning Mistakes: 5 Tips

Do you want to know how to fix pruning mistakes? In this post, Pro Tree of Knoxville, your reliable tree trimming company in Knoxville, gives expert tips for pruning trees. Here are common mistakes and how to fix them. 

how to fix pruning mistakes

1. You Snip the Plant Tips to Keep Them Neat

You might think that a small pruning cut won’t do any harm, but the opposite is true. You should trim trees to remove dead or damaged tissue. When you cut off the tip, you remove the bit that inhibits new buds from forming. So the tree sprouts between four and six new branches, worsening the issue.

Proper pruning techniques correct this by letting these new limbs grow until late summer or early fall. You would then remove all but the strongest growth. 

2. You Cut Back the Longest Branches of Your Conifers

When people ask us how to fix pruning mistakes, it’s likely because they “neatened up” their trees. With conifers, improper pruning is most likely in summer, when the tree is growing well. The danger is that this can do irreparable damage to your conifers. Poorly pruned conifers hardly ever recover, so it’s better to put up with the unruly limbs for a while. Instead of leaving a stub of wood in place to maintain the shape, cut the branch as close to the trunk as possible.  

3. You Try to Enforce a Rigid Shape  

Cherry trees, in particular, fight back by becoming denser. This, in turn, inhibits air circulation and can lead to crossed branches. In the end, the tree dies. 

When trimming a tree, focus on sick or dead branches first and then look at the structure. What does the tree’s canopy look like in nature? Changing this too much will cause issues. 

If you have a tree that already has a great deal of dense growth at the center, remove excess branches all the way to the trunk. This allows sunlight to penetrate, and this encourages a more natural growth pattern again. 

4. You Top the Tree Because It’s Too Tall

Even if this doesn’t kill the tree, it’s highly ineffective because the plant sends out several new sprouts from the area. Under the right circumstances, topping the tree can help it bush out, but it’s more likely to kill it. 

If you top your tree, choose the strongest sprout or leader branch and trim away all the others. In the case of a conifer, choose the best leading branch and attach it to the stub using masking tape. It will then grow upwards, restoring the correct shape. 

5. You Don’t Prune at All

As errors go, it’s not the worst, but it will result in less vitality in your trees. Trimming the branches annually allows your tree to perform at its best. If you’re too scared to cut, get help.

Contact Our Professionals

Now that you know how to fix pruning mistakes, do you have other questions? For example, do you understand the importance of tree pruning, or do you need more help in your garden? Call Pro Tree of Knoxville at (865) 294-0062 for service. 

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