Bad Tree Trimming

Before we look at all the great photos of tree trimming on this site. There are a few things to be said as arborists.. Most people enjoy and appreciate trees. However, I feel the general public, tree trimmers, and even some so called arborists need to be educated on proper tree care.


Torrey pine ruined – (lower limbs cut off). Top heavy

We see all kinds of trees everyday. I find that correct tree pruning is an art. Tree trimming, thinning, lacing, crown reduction, etc. can be done differently on different trees. Topping is not recommended but happens all the time. “Topping” is an industry term for stubbing off the top of the tree and ends of the branches. Unfortunately there is no law against mutilating trees. Bad tree trimming can actually cost a tree owner more time and money in the long run. Fortunately, there are industry standards set forth by the International Society of Arboriculture. and ANZI 300. Most Certified Arborists follow these guidelines and standards. Some Arborists go above and beyond and help create beautiful natural specimen trees. Most “tree cutters” just cut for the sake of cutting. “Topping” a tree is not the only mistake a tree cutter can make. “Lion tailing” or stripping out a tree is also a common mistake.  When pruning a tree, it is relatively easy to clean out the inside ofthecanopy and cut off the lower limbs.

The real challenge is getting out to the ends and tips of the branches and properly tipping or thinning. Some “professional” companies boast their “no topping” policies but will then just strip up the limbs and leave the branches and tree tops full and heavy. This is quick way of making the tree look “trimmed”. Tree pruning is an art. It is very difficult to explain or even take a picture of proper pruning techniques. This site is an attempt to showcase the bad side of tree service. This may hopefully educate a few people.