When Do Trees Actually Need Trimming?

In a perfect world, you would have a tree trimming service come out every year and give each of your trees a nice once-over. However, not every homeowner can afford this level of service, and that's okay. Most trees will be okay with less frequent, as-needed trimming. But if you're going to take this as-needed approach, you do need to know when tree trimming is really needed! Take a look.

When a Tree Is Young

Even if you do not have your mature trees trimmed once a year, you should have any young trees trimmed annually until they're about 10 years old, depending on the type of tree. Young trees grow rapidly, so they need frequent trimming to ensure they grow in the right direction and shape. It's easier for a tree care company to make small adjustments each year than to try and correct a decades-old tree that has been left to grow in every direction its whole life.

When a Tree Is Fruit-Bearing

Any fruit trees in your property should be trimmed annually, assuming you want them to produce fruit every year. This trimming will remove any older, dead limbs that are no longer bearing fruit so that the tree can focus its resources on the branches that will bear fruit. A tree trimmer can also remove any diseased branches to prevent the disease from spreading to the fruit. 

When a Tree Has Dead Limbs

If you notice a dead limb on your tree, then regardless of that tree's age, you need to call a trimming service that year. Dead limbs can fall in a storm or heavy wind, causing injuries and property damage. And sometimes, a dead limb may be infected with fungi, and the only good way to get rid of those fungi is to have the limb removed.

When a Tree Is Beginning to Interfere With a Structure

The other case in which you need to call a tree service is if one of your trees has begun to pose a threat to your property or a neighbor's property. Here are a few examples:

  • Trees growing towards power lines
  • Trees with branches overgrowing a home or garage roof
  • Trees with branches within feet of a window
  • Trees growing into or over a fence

The sooner you have the tree trimmed back to remove the interference, the better.

If you can't afford to have a tree trimmer come trim all of your trees every single year, that's okay. Just make sure you do call a trimmer when your trees fall into any of the categories above.