How To Spot Bad Tree Pruning: Top Indicators

Pruning the deciduous trees on their property is part of their everyday routine for many homeowners. However, proper pruning is essential to a plant’s health, so it’s important to learn the signs of poor pruning. This article will cover a few common symptoms of bad tree pruning to let you know if you should adjust your approach.

While following this guide can help you more effectively care for the plants on your property, it’s essential to consult a certified arborist if you have any questions about tree care or are looking for a tree removal service in your area. When you need tree service professionals in Wake Forest, you can count on Raleigh Tree Service for rapid and effective service at affordable prices.

Why Pruning Technique Matters

Pruning a tree involves cutting branches, but it’s crucial to understand that improper cutting branches can kill a tree. Removing some of the plant’s branches and leaves is necessary, but too much pruning can severely damage the tree. In some cases, excessive pruning can even kill the entire tree if a trained professional doesn’t step in. For these reasons, it’s important to always follow the proper techniques for pruning your trees to avoid damaging them. In many cases, homeowners can prevent these problems by hiring an arborist who can help maintain trees’ health and appearance while keeping the rest of the property safe. 

Sign of Improper Pruning #1: Lion Tailing

Lion tailing is a type of pruning where the tree has a thin canopy with many gaps and excessive inner branching and foliage. While many may think that this is successful crown thinning, lion tailing is harmful to trees. It can result in uneven weight distribution in the crown, lack of sufficient foliage for photosynthesis, and overgrowth of leaves in an attempt to correct the damage.

These problems are concerning on their own, but when a storm hits a weakened tree, that can spell disaster. Not only is a lion tailed tree more susceptible to storm damage, but dead branches can also snap off and fly into homes. Pruning requires precision, and lion tailing, while well-intentioned, is haphazard and harmful. 

Sign of Improper Tree Pruning #2: Many Improper Cuts

Whether you’ve pruned your tree yourself or someone else has done it, you can spot bad cuts as signs of bad tree pruning. Stub cuts, where the pruner failed to remove a branch entirely, can expose the tree to disease, while heading cuts leave branches too long, forcing a tree to create many weak branches to compensate. Lastly, flush cuts to the tree’s collar leave it unable to treat any wounds it incurs properly.

These may seem obvious and thus easy to avoid, but a homeowner with little pruning experience and no formal training will often make these mistakes. That’s why hiring professional help is vital when trees need pruning. Trained arborists know the dangers of these cuts and how to avoid them, leading to healthy trees.

Sign of Improper Tree Pruning #3: Crown Thinning

Excessive crown thinning is a common pruning mistake that can dramatically reduce a tree’s overall growth. As a result, the tree becomes weak and more susceptible to damage from storms and other hazards. Therefore, when pruning your tree, it’s vital to avoid removing more than one-third of the foliage at any time to retain the optimal amount of greenery to support your tree’s health.

Get Professional Tree Services in Wake Forest Today

While this article is an excellent start to learning how to spot bad tree pruning, a professional’s help can still make a substantial difference. Please explore the rest of our website to learn more about what to do with split tree trunks or find out if a branch collar may help your tree. If you’re ready to schedule service, call Raleigh Tree Service at 919-889-5783 today.

You have come to the right place for expert Tree Removal, Tree Trimming, Stump Grinding and Friendly Service! At Raleigh Tree Service, we proudly provide Greater Raleigh, NC and The Triangle with safe, affordable and efficient tree service.

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5300 Atlantic Ave. Suite 106-4

Raleigh, NC 27609


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