dadiongomez / Pixabay

Pruning is constantly an intimidating subject for new garden enthusiasts, specifically when it comes to cutting trees! I know how it feels, I have actually existed. But do not worry, most of the times you can easily prune your own trees without fretting about employing a professional. In this post, I am going to inform you when to prune trees, and after that show you precisely how to cut tree branches yourself, step-by-step.

Couleur / Pixabay

How To Trim Tree Branches: A Detailed Guide For Beginners

This is a sponsored discussion composed by me on behalf of Troy-Bilt. I was likewise supplied with the product mentioned in this post at no charge. All viewpoints and text are my own.

Like I stated, cutting trees is constantly a frightening subject for newbies (I understand it was for me!), so that’s why I’ve partnered with Troy-Bilt to reveal you simply how simple it can be to prune a tree.

And, to make it even much easier to trim trees, Troy-Bilt provided me a new pole saw attachment for my string trimmer to evaluate out (this attachment deals with all attachment-capable string trimmers).


But before you go out your tree pruning tools, it’s a good idea to do a fast online search to search for how to prune the particular kind of tree you need to make sure there aren’t any unique pruning methods for it.

Some kinds of trees (like fruit or flowering trees) prefer to be pruned after they are done blooming, or at other times of the year. Likewise, most types of evergreen trees do not need to be pruned, other than to remove any dead or unwanted growth.

And never ever, never try pruning your own trees if they are anywhere near power lines. It’s best to just let the pros handle that!

Pixaline / Pixabay


sweetlouise / Pixabay

There are several factors to prune trees, and it’s a great concept to make tree maintenance a regular habit in order to keep them growing their finest.

The very first time the majority of people think of pruning trees is normally after a storm causes damage to the branches, or if the lower branches of the tree are obstructing, or the branches are posturing a hazard of some kind.

Other factors for pruning trees might be to encourage flowers and fruit production, to activate the tree to grow larger, to help prevent disease by enabling much better air flow, or merely to form the tree to make it look better.

steinchen / Pixabay


The ideal season to prune trees is when the tree is dormant. So, in general, the very best time to trim tree branches would sometime during the winter.

Pruning while the tree is still inactive will lower the danger of disease and bug problems in the open cut injuries. Pruning trees before spring also assists to promote healthy and vigorous brand-new growth.

In severe environments like mine here in Minnesota, it’s finest to wait up until the coldest weather has actually passed prior to pruning trees. So for us, the very best time to trim trees is during the late winter or early spring.

In milder climates, you can trim a tree anytime during the winter while it is inactive.

Hans / Pixabay

Do not fret, you can still cut tree branches during the spring and summertime if you require to. And dead or damaged branches can be removed at any time. Just try to prevent pruning trees on wet, rainy days, or days when it’s very damp outside.


When it comes to trimming trees, using quality pruning tools is super crucial. You always wish to make sure your tree cutting tools are sharp and clean before you begin pruning your trees.

Filthy and dull tools for pruning will just harm your trees, and could spread illness to the open injuries. Here are the tools I use for cutting my trees …

stux / Pixabay

TrimmerPlus ® Add-On Pole Pruning Saws connects to all attachment-capable string trimmers with no tools. The pole saw attachment comes with a prolonged boom that rises to eleven feet. It’s so good to be able to just get accessories for my string trimmer, instead of needing to buy an entire brand-new tool.

My trimmer is likewise equipped with JumpStart ™ technology, which make it effortless to begin it. With the JumpStart ™ Engine Starter, I don’t need to mess with the pull string, I can begin my trimmer with journalism of a button!

Dive start technology power pruning saw.
Dive start technology makes it simple to begin the Troy-Bilt power pruning saw.


steinchen / Pixabay

Improper pruning can leave the tree at risk for disease and bugs. So prior to you start, it is essential to understand exactly how to trim tree branches effectively.

When tree branches are pruned effectively, the injury will callus over making a great thick circle all the way around the cut. It is necessary for the callus to form properly in order to safeguard the tree from issues down the road, like rot brought on by water pooling in the injury.

Pexels / Pixabay

Here are tips for how to cut tree branches appropriately …

1. Find the branch collar prior to cutting– As soon as you decide which branch you’re going to get rid of, the first thing to do is find the branch collar. The branch collar is the location around where the branch is outgrowing the tree. It’s much easier to see on some trees than it is on others– but try to find a ridge, a circle, or a location where the bark is thicker.

It is essential to make it to eliminate your branches from simply beyond the branch collar so that the tree can heal effectively. Also, make sure not to harm the branch collar when cutting limbs, or the tree will not be able to form a great callus (which can leave the tree at risk for decomposing in the future).

kie-ker / Pixabay

2. Make your cuts at a downward angle– As you trim the tree, it’s important to make your cuts at a down angle so that water can’t settle into the wound. If water is able to settle in the injury, it might eventually cause decomposing.

manfredrichter / Pixabay

3. Never trim branches that are growing upward– When you’re first finding out how to cut tree branches, a typical error is to eliminate the branches that are growing directly.

But if you prune the tree branches that are growing directly, that will leave an injury that is dealing with up where water can easily settle, which can trigger the tree to rot over time.

Couleur / Pixabay

4. Don’t prune a branch too long– You also want to make sure that you’re not leaving too long of a stub when removing tree branches. Leaving too long of a stub will likewise make it hard for the tree to form an appropriate callus.

MireXa / Pixabay


Now that you know the appropriate techniques for how to cut tree branches, let’s speak about the steps to follow when pruning trees. Here’s a quick list of the actions, and after that the more comprehensive steps are below.

Trim off any suckers growing at the base of the trunk.
Remove all the dead or passing away branches.
Prune out unwanted or harmful branches.
Get rid of any damaged or weak branches.
Cut out overlapping branches that rub together.
Action 1: Pruning suckers– Suckers are weak, weedy looking branches that grow out of the base of the trunk. These suckers will never ever become desirable branches, and only steal energy from the tree. So, be sure to keep pruning suckers as you see them growing.

Step 2: Eliminate dead or dying branches– Getting rid of the dead branches is the best location to start, and will make the rest of the tree pruning steps simpler too.

As soon as you have actually removed all of the dead branches, it’s easier to see what you’re dealing with, and spot other branches that need to be pruned next.

pixel2013 / Pixabay

Step 3: Prune out undesirable or harmful branches– Branches that are hanging low, touching your home, or are causing some kind of a security danger can be cut next.

The majority of the time the objective here is simply to raise the height of the tree canopy or remove the obstruction, which can typically be done by trimming small branches, rather than eliminating an entire tree limb.

Step 4: Remove damaged and weak branches– Tree branches that have been damaged in a storm, or are otherwise broken or compromised ought to be removed even if they are still alive.

Damaged branches are an invite for bugs and illness, can end up being dangerous, and can likewise be a location for water to settle and begin to rot the branch.

dadiongomez / Pixabay

Step 5: Trim out crossing branches– Now that you’ve got most of the tree cleaned up, it’ll be easy to spot branches that are overlapping and rubbing against each other. If tree branches rub together, they can harm each other in time.

Get rid of both branches if they are both damaged, otherwise either remove the damaged one, or the smallest one of the two.


As you’re simply finding out how to cut tree branches yourself, the very best thing to do is to begin small and work your way into it slowly. Do not overdo it! Start with one or two of the steps above, and after that wait till next year for the rest.
Beware when getting rid of large tree limbs from your trees. Eliminating large limbs can be dangerous to the health of a tree. It’s best to leave them unless there’s an excellent reason to remove them, like if they are dead, damaged, unhealthy, or causing some type of threat.
As you’re trimming the tree, be sure to take an action back and take a look at it from all angles to examine the shape. It’s easy to get brought away with cutting branches, just to realize the tree looks uneven after you step out from underneath it.
Never cut off more that 1/4 of the living tree branches at one time. If you require to cut more than that, do a few of it this year, and then wait to do the rest over the next few years.
If you have actually never pruned your trees before, it’s finest to start small and work your method into it. You don’t wish to go overboard and eliminate too many of the branches.

If you’re nervous that you’ll overdo it, just start by eliminating any dead or broken branches, and then wait up until next year to try to find the other branches that require to be pruned.

When you get understand how to trim tree branches yourself, and get into the routine of routine tree upkeep, you’ll feel comfy doing it all at once.