Tree trimming is more than aesthetics. You should plan to trim the trees at your home every 3 to 5 years (1 to 2 years if the trees are young still) to prevent problems in your roof, plumbing, and electric systems.

When you have large trees in the front or backyard of your home, you need to ensure that you maintain them. This article will outline the reasons why pruning your trees is important and how you can do it safely.

Why is it Important to Trim Trees?

tree trimming

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Tree maintenance is your responsibility and neglecting this duty can lead to serious consequences including injury and in some cases death. Poorly cared trees can have dead or diseased branches that can fall at any moment. It’s important that you remove these branches as soon as you notice them. Here are some of the reasons why you should prune your trees:


It’s important that you always put the safety of your family first when it comes to tree trimming. If you have overhanging tree branches that are dying, they can fall and cause serious injury and damage to property. If you notice trees that are posing a danger and your family could be at risk, the best thing to do is to call in the tree trimming experts to cut them back. At the very least, you should try and remove them yourself in a safe manner.

Take a look at our guide on Factors To Consider Before Hiring Tree Planting Services


When you spend time on tree pruning, you remove the parts of the tree that are dying or diseased. This stops any disease moving from the diseased branch to the rest of the tree. The healthier the tree is, the more green leaves will grow resulting in a better-shaded area and a nicer looking tree.

It Looks Good

When you work on your trees, you give them a good physical appearance. The prettier your trees, the more value your home has. Once they are pruned correctly, they can grow in the right direction and improve the look of your exterior overall.

Take a look at the Best Trees For Your Front Yard To Achieve More Privacy

What Happens During Pruning?

trim tree

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It’s all well and good to say that your trees need pruning, but it’ll help you to know what happens during pruning. Let’s take a look:

  • Removal of the dead branches or diseased ones
  • Thinning out the tree so it’s not so thick and dangerous
  • Raising the lower limbs for health and safety reasons

Tree Trimming Schedule

There are a lot of variables when it comes to the timing of trimming your trees. These are the most important factors to consider

  • Certain types of trees will require trimming more often than other types
  • Some trees grow faster than others, and it will depend on the season as to when you need to trim back certain trees. Other trees grow faster in different seasons.
  • Some trees grow much faster as they get older, and that means that certain older trees require more pruning than others.

What about the cost? Take a look at our guide on Tree Removal Cost and the Factors It Takes into Consideration

The Tree Types Matter

The timing of your tree trimming depends on the tree type. In this article, Evergreens, Oak and Fruit trees are covered, but there are many other types that you should be aware of.

  • Evergreens

Evergreen trees should not be pruned often. Sometimes, you may not have to do much with your evergreens as they shed and get rid of damaged or dead branches themselves. Don’t trim them unless they’re causing a hazard.

  • Oak Trees

Oak trees benefit from a strict tree trimming schedule. Trimming every 2 to 3 years when they’re young is important. Every three to five years is optimum as they get older.

  • Fruit Trees

Fruit trees need careful attention compared to other varieties and it’s always a smart idea to prune them yearly. Trimming encourages new growth and you can trim them through their dormant months, too.

How To Trim Trees Safely?

safety glasses

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The safest way to trim your trees is to do so before there is a problem. This means scheduling a time each year or couple of years, depending on the tree, for tree maintenance. For the best results, you should have:

  • Safety glasses
  • Hand pruners
  • Pruning saw – manual or mechanical, reader’s choice.

Once you have your equipment, you should inspect the tree and determine which branches you should cut and which you should leave. You should be looking for:

  • Suckers – these are weak branches that look like weeds, usually found around the base of the trunk.
  • Dead or dying branches – this one is an obvious choice, if it is dead or dying, you should remove it.
  • Damaged branches – if a branch is damaged and not likely to heal naturally, it should be removed. It can lead to disease in the tree as well as rot.
  • Hazardous branches – these are the most important branches to remove. If a branch poses a risk to you, your family, or your property, it needs to be removed.

Once you have identified what branches to remove, look for the branch collar on the branch you want to remove. This can be difficult to identify, but it is at the base of the branch and is usually thicker than the rest of the branch. Make sure you cut just outside the branch collar so the tree can heal properly. Damaging the branch collar can result in rotting in the area where you removed the branch.

The opposite should also be considered; keep as close to the branch collar as possible. Cutting the branch too far from the branch collar will reduce the aesthetic appeal of the tree, leaving an amputated stump that the tree won’t be able to form a proper callus.

Buying a Home? Learn Why You Must Schedule a Tree Inspection


Be sure, when trimming your tree, that you always cut in a downward angle. This makes sure that water doesn’t settle, causing disease and rotting. This is also true for branches that are growing upward. If you remove these branches, water will easily settle on the removed branch and cause issues for the tree.

It’s often safer to hire an experienced arborist who can take care of your trees safely and easily. They can also provide advice on tree care, perform tree lopping and even tree removal. If you’re more of a do-it-yourself person, follow these tips and you’ll get the job done safely.

Read more: Why is tree trimming so expensive

A Guide on How Often You Should Trim Tree Branches, Safety & More was last modified: October 14th, 2022 by Kukun
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The Tree Doctor
The Tree Doctor

Hello Kukun. I read your post entirely and got really impressed with your writing skills. You have explained each and every point clearly in simple words that I liked the most in your post. Keep the good work on.

Jenna Hunter
Jenna Hunter

My uncle has a really nice apple tree in his backyard that he really wants to nurture and make sure that it grows well. Getting a professional to help him trim the tree could be really helpful to promote the growth of the fruit. I’ll be sure to tell him that he should get the pruned yearly and they can be trimmed in the dormant months.

Eileen Benson
Eileen Benson

I was surprised when you said that proper trimming can actually help encourage the trees to grow in the right direction. My home has an apple tree in the backyard, and when I was doing some landscaping work yesterday I noticed it’s starting to look a bit crooked. Thanks for sharing this article and letting me know that hiring a professional tree trimming service can help with that issue!

Eli Richardson
Eli Richardson

I never consider the fact that proper tree trimming encourages the trees to grow in a straight direction. My aunt moved to a new house that has a beautiful maple tree next t her garage. I was told that maple trees grow fast, so I’ll be sure to recommend her to hire a tree service to prune her tree.

Oscar Morrison
Oscar Morrison

Thanks for pointing out that trees need to be pruned at different rates depending on the type of tree and how old it is. We have a large backyard with several types of trees in it, and we want to make sure that they all stay healthy. Maybe we should have a professional check them out to make sure they’re ok and to help us know how frequently they should be trimmed.

Alice Carroll
Alice Carroll

Thanks for pointing out that oak trees need to be trimmed at most every five years. My oak’s canopy has been growing dangerously close to the gutter of my house lately and I think that would prove problematic one a storm hits my area. I should probably hire a tree trimming service as early as now.