Will Cutting Limbs off a Tree Kill It?

Each part of a tree contributes to the entire plant’s survival. The roots anchor and absorb minerals from the soil, while the bark protects the tree from external elements. The tree’s limbs or branches transport water and nutrients to the tree’s extremities.

So, will cutting limbs off a tree kill it? It depends. In this post, we’ll discuss a few dos and don’ts of cutting limbs off a tree as advised by top-rated tree trimming experts in Littleton.

will cutting limbs off a tree kill it

Know Your Tree

Know your tree before attempting to cut off any limbs. Research the tree species you have on your property because tree species differ.

Better yet, hire a professional for all your pruning needs. A certified arborist will have what it takes to cut off limbs without killing your tree.

Prune the Right Way

If you decide to go the DIY route, use proper tree pruning techniques to minimize the chances that cutting off a limb will kill the tree. Besides removing dead branches and knowing when to prune, the following pruning tips will prove valuable:

Avoid All-Round Bad Cuts

Experienced professionals will not make stub cuts, flush cuts, or heading cuts, as they compromise a tree’s integrity—and neither should you.

Don’t Top a Tree

Topping involves making a cut below the apex of a tree’s main trunk.

While some people use this technique to reduce a tree’s overall height, topping often stresses the affected tree and forces it to develop a lot of weakly attached branches that require more corrective tree work.

So, will cutting limbs off a tree kill it? Topping might just do that.

Avoid Pruning Large Branches

Pruning large tree branches can create massive wounds too large for the tree to seal off, resulting in pests and disease infestation. Pruning large branches also raises safety issues and causes potential property damage or injuries.

Don’t remove too much of a tree’s crown: Pruning works best as a long-term rather than a short-term practice. Depending on the tree’s age, size, and condition, you shouldn’t remove more than 5% to 20% of a tree’s crown.

Be Careful Not To Injure a Tree’s Bark

Avoid bark damage from pruning by not dropping or tossing branches down through the tree’s crown. The three-step pruning method below minimizes the chances of tree bark damage when cutting larger limbs:

  • Make the first pruning cut on the underside of the branch
  • Remove excess branch weight by making a second cut farther out along the branch 
  • Finally, cut just beyond the branch collar to ensure a good seal 

Trust Your Local Tree Experts

Tree Keepers LLC strives to stay at the forefront of the tree care industry, providing clients with the most advanced solutions. Count on us for all your tree care needs, including:

  • Plant health care
  • Tree trimming and pruning
  • Emerald ash borer control
  • Tree and shrub care

Call Tree Keepers LLC at (720) 534-2872 to request a free quote for tree service in Littleton, Colorado. Reach out to learn how to trim an overgrown tree or for answers to the question: Will cutting limbs off a tree kill it?

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