Questions you should ask before pruning your trees

Questions you should ask before pruning your trees

How do you decide when to prune your trees? If you’ve been following our blog, you’ll know that we recommend scheduling an appointment with your tree care company to prune your trees in winter. That doesn’t mean you need to prune your trees every year.


Pruning is an important part of tree maintenance. Not only is it an opportunity to identify and remove potentially dangerous or diseased branches, but pruning aids in shaping a tree so it looks attractive. You can prune young trees yourself, to shape them as they grow, but in the case of large, mature trees, you’ll need to call in a professional.


With so many tree fellers offering their services, you might be tempted to employ the first name in that pops up on Google. Before you let them loose on your trees, ask them these questions:


  1. What equipment will you use to prune my trees?

An experienced tree care company will have a range of tools for a variety of tree maintenance jobs. Obviously chainsaws are used to remove large branches, but they should also carry pole pruners, loppers and rope saws for thinner branches.


To reach the high branches of a mature tree, a tree feller will need ropes and harnesses, and no fear of heights!


Don’t forget to ask about safety equipment. Working with these tools can be dangerous, so the team should be suited up in the right protection gear: chainsaw pants, goggles, and gloves.


  1. Do you think this tree needs to be pruned?

It may seem like an odd question to ask, but the answer will reveal some important information. As mentioned earlier, you don’t need to prune your trees every year. A professional tree feller will give you an honest answer – even if it doesn’t result in a job. It’s a sign that they’ll never risk the health of your trees.


  1. How do you make a pruning cut?

Along with the right equipment, using the right techniques is essential to avoid damaging the tree unnecessarily. Pruning cuts should not be made too close or too far away from the trunk as this may affect the tree’s ability to heal.


Large branches should be removed with a three-step process:


  • First, a shallow cut is made on the underside of the branch about 10-12cm away from the trunk.
  • Then, the branch should be cut off about 5-7cm away from the initial cut. This way, when the branch falls off, it doesn’t peel the bark off the side of the trunk.
  • A final cut is made to remove the stub, leaving a clean wound that will heal neatly.


  1. Is it necessary to seal pruning cuts?

You may be concerned that the open wounds caused by pruning could allow infections or infestations to set in. However, experienced tree fellers know that these wounds will heal faster if they can breathe. A dressing should only be applied in special circumstances; otherwise they can trap moisture and increase the risk of rot setting in.


A tree that is pruned correctly and taken care of will add value to your property and give you many years of cool shade.  It will also be a healthier, stronger tree and you’ll never have to worry that it may one day cause damage to your home or family.


If you’re looking for a professional tree care company, call Brands Tree Felling. We’ve been caring for trees for almost three decades, and we’ll give you and your trees the service you deserve.