(309) 392-4127

Get a free estimate today!

Why call an Oak Bros Arborist to prune your trees!

November 20, 2018

The risk to DIY pruning


1. Improper cuts can cause damage remaining to the lifespan of the tree.

2. Certain species of trees can be damaged if pruned within the wrong degree days.

For example, in the warmer months if you decide to prune your tree. The risk allows for borer and other insects to damage your tree due to the open wound. This is one of the most important reasons to call an arborist to prune your tree. He will be able to determine the type of tree you have and the risk at hand if pruned within a desired period.

3. Are you making the right pruning cuts?

When trees are pruned there are multiple factors to determine. (Picture from Morton Arboretum)

  • One being where to cut the limb
  • Type of tool to make the cut
  • Cutting the right lateral branch (this should be left up to an arborist) You could severely damage the tree if too large of cut is made.
  • The size of limb                                                           
  • Cut should leave a smooth surface with no jagged edge or torn bark.

4. The structure of your tree is at risk if pruned wrong or too late

Structural pruning is commonly used by arborist’ when pruning. This type of pruning is used when a tree has not been pruned in many years or a tree is very young.  The risk if the structure of the tree is pruned wrong is permanent.

Below is the process in which all certified arborists are required to follow when pruning your tree. An arborist is trained to develop structure by using the process of 5 simple steps.

  1. Remove broken, dead, dying, or damaged branches.
  2. Determine which branches will form codominant stems. Decide which one should be removed if tree is still young.
  3. Select and establish the lowest permanent branch.
  4. Select and locate scaffold branches.
  5. Select and subordinate temporary branches.

After the arborist determines what the tree needs using this process. He will be able to decide which pruning techniques will be used. We will go over pruning techniques in a future blog.

In closing, I hope that you learned that there is more to pruning your trees than owning a chainsaw and ladder. You need an education and process behind pruning. Every branch cut from the tree needs to have a purpose. Our advice here at Oak Bros would be leave pruning to an arborist. Don’t make this a “Do it yourself project”. Hiring an Oak Bros arborist can benefit not only your trees, but maybe save you the risk of damaging your tree or worse yourself. (insert contact us link)


Do your trees need help? Contact us to meet with one of our Arbor Consultants.