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Tree Trimming/Pruning

Man Trimming Tree

Trees are living organisms, every cut produced on a tree has a long-lasting effect. In addition, each tree is unique, and its environment and history dictate distinct requirements.

Heavy Tree Pruning may have no adverse effects on a big, healthy tree, but the removal of too much canopy could irreparably damage a tree that is under pre-existing stress or has a potential for health problems.

In addition, security and stabilization problems may limit the quantity and type of pruning that can be done.

Taking all these variables into consideration, as well as being aware of the weather and seasons, is crucial.  Cutting a tree incorrectly at the incorrect type may result in a serious decrease and death, that is why you should contact Patriot Tree Service

What is Tree Trimming?

Tree Pruning or Tree Trimming typically relates to removal from landscape crops of overgrown tree branches, including hedges, shrubs, and trees.

Such surplus growth can prevent enough sunlight from the remainder of the tree, which implies this method can help enhance general health.
This method can also be used to preserve a shrub or tree shape.

This tree service process should generally be performed with care about once or twice a year, generally in the dormant season. Shears on trees and hedge trimmers on shrubbery are generally used by tree care professionals.

Why Is Pruning Your Trees Important?

Trees need to be trimmed regularly, and sometimes branches must be cut off to help ensure the health of the tree and your family’s safety. There are many reasons a good tree trim can be a vital part of yard maintenance. Let’s look at each of these benefits:

Tree Appearance

Trees that aren’t regularly trimmed can grow to look unbalanced and misshapen. Tree branches may sprout off in strange directions and this uneven growth can make your trees appear bedraggled.

Tree Pruning is like a much-needed haircut, one that enhances the tree’s natural shape. Thinning out limbs and cutting back unwieldy branches is beneficial because it improves the tree’s appearance. This cut-back is especially important for those trees you planted to boost the appeal of a property.

Landscape Aesthetics

When you don’t regularly trim trees, the aesthetics of your landscape can be affected.

Densely packed tree branches can block the sun and prevent rain from reaching the grass and flowers growing under trees, inhibiting their growth. Regular tree trimming can ensure that enough sunlight and moisture get through the branches. In addition, pruning can enhance your landscape’s appearance by removing limbs that obstruct your view of a lake, valley, or other scenery.

Tree Health

Overgrowth negatively affects the health of a tree. Without this trim, trees can become weaker and will be less likely to survive.
Trimming for tree health is often referred to as pruning, and it involves removing branches that are diseased, infested or interfering with healthy growth. By giving trees a regular trim, trees are kept strong, creates a healthier structure and reduces the need for future corrective pruning.


Property safety is another important reason a regular tree trim is necessary.

Trees with dead, diseased or infested branches pose a significant risk. In heavy winds or a severe storm, the limbs can fall easily and damage your property and your home — and someone could get badly injured. The presence of hazardous branches is the most critical reason to get your trees trimmed periodically.

If you’re convinced that regular tree trimming is a must, contact us at Patriot Tree Service in Hampton, VA, a licensed and insured tree trimmer for the job. 

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What are the Tree Trimming Methods/Types?

There are seven primary types that arborists use to achieve the desired pruning objective:

Crown cleaning: is the most basic level of tree pruning and includes the removal of dead, dying, diseased and broken branches. Most arborists have been trained from the first time they picked up a saw to remove these types of branches without hesitation.

Crown thinning: is the selective removal of branches to increase light penetration and air movement through the crown of the tree. Crown thinning opens up the foliage of a tree, reduces weight on heavy limbs and helps retain the tree’s natural shape.

Crown raising: consists of pruning or removing lower branches or limbs to provide vertical clearance.

Crown reduction: is used to clear tree branches from objects such as buildings, signs or lights. Crown reduction pruning is also utilized to reduce the canopy of the tree in an effort to decrease the height and/or spread of the canopy.

Crown restoration: is usually the necessary type of pruning for trees that have sustained damage from storms or have been vandalized.

Espalier pruning: Espalier pruning requires quite a bit of time and effort, but the resulting plant is almost always attractive and eye-catching. Specification for espalier pruning might go something like this, “prune all non-horizontal growth to maintain current, horizontal branching habit’.

Vista pruning: is used prune or remove branches to improve the view of scenery or an object from a predetermined point. Vista pruning might involve removing whole branches or it could require thinning, or maybe over-thinning, a selected portion of the tree canopy.

What are the 3 Must-Have tools for pruning/trimming trees?

The three tools below are recommended for simple, small cuts. These tools only cut smaller branches. Before you trim your trees, listen to this advice from our tree care specialist on how to cut branches from your tree the right way. Or if you have a young tree, read this.


Also called hand pruners, pruning shears are perfect for cutting small twigs, up to 1 inch in diameter.

To touch up small, live branches, look for bypass pruning shears. The tool resembles a pair of scissors and is good for trimming twigs at awkward angles. Anvil pruning shears have a straight, knife-like edge and should only be used on dead twigs.


With a longer handle and sturdier blade, loppers can cut branches up to 2 inches thick.

Like pruning shears, loppers come as anvil or bypass. Anvil loppers can harm live branches, so opt for bypass loppers unless you’re cutting dead limbs.


Pole pruners extend 10 to 15 feet to reach deadwood in any tree. Look for a pole pruner with both a bypass blade and a pruning saw. The bypass blade can handle branches about 2 inches thick while the saw trims slightly larger limbs.


How Do You Safely Trim Your Trees?

The most important rule when cutting a tree, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is personal safety. The best way to help ensure safety is to hire an arborist to clip back your trees. Give us a call if you’re in the Clermont area.

To conduct a trim, a ladder may often be required and sometimes puts the trimmer in close proximity to power lines, posing a potential danger. The safest course of action is to leave tree pruning to a professional.

However, if you do decide to trim your own trees the USDA provides the following size guide to help you determine if it’s safe or not to cut the branches:

  • Branches smaller than 2 inches (or 5 centimeters) in diameter: Proceed.
  • Branches between 2 and 4 inches (or 5 and 10 centimeters) in diameter: Think it over.
  • Branches larger than 4 inches (or 10 centimeters): Contact an arborist.

Once again, if you have any doubt in your ability to properly assess the situation and conduct the cutback yourself then just call us.

Overall, yearly tree trimming and pruning may help keep your yard beautiful and safe for years to come.