Trimming Tips For Popular Backyard Trees


Most trees need some degree of regular trimming in order to help them maintain a good shape and good health. There are definitely trimming guidelines that apply to every tree, such as never removing more than 1/3 of the branches at once. However, the more specific guidelines to follow vary from tree to tree. To help you do the best trimming job possible on each and every tree, take a look at these individualized trimming tips for popular backyard trees.


Maple trees are known for their abundant sap. Sugar maples have the most sap, but even red and silver maples have more sap than your standard tree. This sap tends to get flowing right towards the end of winter, which is when you want to trim most of your trees. You do not want to trim maple trees at this time since doing so can lead to excessive sap loss. Trim your maple trees either in the fall or later in the summer, around August. 

Another thing to keep in mind when trimming maple trees is that the branches closest to the ground tend to get sparse and unhealthy. If you trim away the lowest branches each year, the tree will take on a more attractive shape, and there will be enough space to stand beneath its canopy, which is ideal. 

Oak Trees

Oak trees are not terribly difficult to trim, and once they're established, you should only need to trim them every few years since they are so slow-growing. What you need to be careful of with oak trees is contamination. These trees are really susceptible to a number of diseases, including oak wilt, that can be spread from tree to tree.

To protect an oak tree, only prune the tree during late fall or early winter, when the fungi that cause these diseases are less active. Sanitize your shears with alcohol before you begin trimming and after every tree.

Pine Trees

Pine trees are a bit unique in that they are evergreen. They don't need as extensive pruning as deciduous trees as they tend to naturally grow into an attractive shape. As such, when pruning, you really only want to remove any dead or damaged branches. Removing too much more could stunt the tree's growth. 

With a pine tree, you do not necessarily have to remove the entire branch if part of the branch is damaged. Just cut the branch a few inches past the damaged point. Leaving the healthy part of the branch behind will help maintain the tree's full, lush look.

Weeping Willows

These trees present some unique challenges because of their long, flowing tendrils, which tend to sweep across the ground if left untrimmed. Yet you cannot just cut the tendrils off. You need to carefully trim the tree each year, removing lower branches that will grow tendrils too close to the ground. 

Always trim the tree in the winter when the tree is dormant. Like maples, willows have a lot of sap, and the sap loss may weaken them if you prune them in the spring. Also, make sure you're removing thinner branches preferentially to thicker ones. Tendrils make willows pretty susceptible to wind damage, and the thinner branches are at a greater risk of damage than thick ones.

As you can see, each type of tree requires a bit of a different approach. If you are not sure of the best way to trim a certain tree in your yard, reach out to a tree trimming company in your area. They can trim the tree for you and give you some pointers.


5 February 2020

A Tree For Every Yard

Elm, ash, walnut, maple, apple — these are all gorgeous trees, but they all have their own preferences in terms of care. Maple trees, for example, need to be pruned later in the season once their sap has begun flowing. Elm trees should be pruned in winter when insects aren't around in order to protect them from the emerald ash borer. A good tree care company will treat each of your trees as individuals, customizing care to their own specific needs. Still, it's important that you, as the tree owner, understand those needs, too. Read the articles on your website, and you'll soon have a pretty good grasps on the basics of tree care.