When to Turn to a Professional for Tree Trimming

March 13, 2017

If you own one or multiple trees, you’ve likely taken trimming and pruning into your hands at some point. But these can quickly turn into time-consuming tasks that require a great deal of precision. With all the tools out there, things can get confusing and stressful in a hurry. It’s why we’ve created this guide to tree pruning and trimming.


Pruning a tree can help maintain its shape and appearance. Aesthetically, a well-maintained tree looks a lot better than with dead or broken branches. That being said, it’s not the best idea to try trimming your tree in a way that would impede its natural size and shape. Excessive trimming and pruning can do some serious damage to your tree.

Dead or broken branches may reach the point where they can fall off at any time and become a safety hazard for those passing by. Be sure to trim branches that may obstruct someone’s view while driving. If you notice that branches are crossing or rubbing together, it’s also a good idea to trim to prevent them from suddenly falling. Contact your utility company to handle limbs and branches that are growing too close to power lines.


  • As mentioned in our previous post, it’s best to trim a tree during its dormant season. For Chicago, that’s the winter.
  • Consider the size of the branch that you intend to remove. A rule of thumb for homeowners is to stick to only removing branches that are less than five centimeters in diameter. For anything larger, it’s best to call a professional.
  • Try to prune away branches whey they are young, as they are much easier to manage at that point. Pruning an older tree makes it more susceptible to scarring.


Crown thinning

  • Ensure that lateral branches are evenly spaced as possible, and in particular with young trees.
  • Try to prune away branches that cross others or run against them.
  • Avoid removing more than one-fourth of a living crown at once.

Crown raising

  • Maintain live branches on at least two-thirds of a tree’s height. This can provide clearance for pedestrians without compromising the health of your tree.

Crown reduction

  • Consider removing the whole branch if you need to remove more than half of the foliage from a branch.
  • Should you choose to reduce your tree’s crowns, only do so if absolutely necessary.


  • First locate the branch collar, which grows from the stem tissue at the bottom base of the branch. You will then find the branch ridge, which is on the upper surface and parallel to the branch angle at the stem.
  • Regardless of how much trimming you intend to do, always cut outside the branch bark ridge and angle your cut down and away from the stem. Just be sure to not injure the branch collar.
  • You can use the same technique to prune dead and living branches alike.

Play it safe and allow our team at Pro Tree Service to handle your tree trimming and pruning. Our fully licensed tree service has been serving surrounding suburbs of Chicago since 1989.

Contact us today for a straightforward, free estimate.

Get a FREE Estimate

Estimates can be scheduled any day of the week.

Service hours: 24 hours/7 days a week.