How Do You Trim a Tree: Steps from the Professionals

Tree pruning or trimming results in a healthy tree that can grow its best while looking more beautiful in the process. Tree trimming boosts your home or business’s property value while protecting your home from fast-growing trees. 

However, trimming a tree for the first time can be daunting. Luckily, the process isn’t too complicated. Follow our step-by-step guide below, which will answer, “how do you trim a tree?”

If you still struggle after reading our guide or don’t have the time, let our tree service professionals in Fort Walton Beach handle the job! 

Why and When to Trim Your Trees

Answering “how do you trim a tree” starts with answering why and when to trim a tree. Many reasons can exist for the why including: 

  • Helping them continue growing their best
  • Safety hazards like low-hanging branches being too close to powerlines or your home or a building 
  • You have unsightly diseased or dead branches, attracting pests or infecting other trees 
  • Boosting the visual appeal of your property
  • Helping facilitate fruit and flower growth and reproduction 
  • Preventing tree diseases by creating more excellent airflow

The best time to trim your trees is either during dormancy (winter for most trees) or late in the fall after your trees have shed all their leaves. These periods allow you to see your tree’s structure more easily. 

However, for dead or diseased branches, you should remove them immediately.  Waiting until winter or fall can cause further infections or damage. 

How Do You Trim a Tree’s Large Branches? 

Three steps can help you remove or trim up large branches: 

  1. Administer a deep cut on the branch’s underside, roughly four or five inches away from the trunk. 
  2. For the first cut, cut off about two or three inches. 
  3. Finally, remove the intact stub by cutting outside the tree’s branch collar—the region where the trunk and branch are connected. 

What Shouldn’t You Do When Trimming a Tree?

There are some things you should never do when trimming or pruning your tree: 

  • Don’t trim branches growing upwards: Trimming these branches leaves a wound that water can quickly settle in, causing a tree to rot. 
  • Don’t leave a stub that’s too long: Leaving too long of a stub means your tree can’t cover its wound with a proper callus. 
  • Don’t forget the branch collar: Before deciding to trim or remove a branch, you’ll want to find the branch collar so you can make the right cut. You also don’t want to damage the branch collar as it can cause your tree to rot. 
  • Don’t hesitate to call professionals: Sometimes, calling professional arborists is your best bet, especially if your tree’s growing near power lines. 

Discover How Tri-State Tree Service Can Help

Our award-winning business is proud to serve our local community. We offer our clients several services from tree trimming, tree removal, land clearing, storm cleanups, and more. 

Want to learn more about “how do you trim a tree?” Call Tri-State Tree Services today at (850) 876-8003. We’ll also help you learn how you can protect your trees in the summer!


Tri-State Tree Service is an award-winning business supplying premier tree removal, tree trimming, and other tree care services to Florida’s northwest & Alabama's southeast coastal regions.

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Tri-State Tree Service
6146 Mobile Hwy.
Pensacola, FL 32526

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