Can You Kill a Tree by Over-Pruning?

Planting a new tree can instantly boost a property’s visual appeal and value. However, trees also have a tendency to overgrow, requiring homeowners to regularly trim or prune them. As such, many homeowners ask, “Can you kill a tree by over-pruning?”

Proper pruning is about eliminating dead and diseased branches first and improving your tree’s appearance second. This guide explores why you shouldn’t over-prune a tree and when to call a tree service company in Louisville, KY

What Are the Dangers of Over-Pruning? 

In the long run, it’s difficult to kill a tree by over-pruning it as long as some of its canopy remains. However, even if a pruning cut doesn’t kill a tree immediately, it can cause many future problems that’ll eventually lead to a tree’s death. 

The biggest issue over-pruning can cause is reducing your tree’s foliage. Your tree’s foliage is how it makes its food, and by cutting too much, you risk stunting its growth patterns. Damaged foliage can also cause the following problems: 

  • Greater sun exposure: To compensate for deep stub cuts and missing foliage, a tree will sprout too much to protect against UV rays and to make food. Unfortunately, over-pruned trees often experience sunscalding. 
  • Missing nutrients: Your tree can start having serious nutrient deficiencies. Furthermore, you risk your tree having weak branches that are susceptible to pests and diseases or breaking from the wind. 
  • Reduced visual appeal: Ironically, over-pruning your tree can also lower its visual appeal. While your tree may appear more attractive, its damaged foliage can quickly make it unsightly. 

Never Top a Tree

When it comes to over-pruning, topping a tree is one of the worst techniques you can do. Topping a tree involves removing its top for height control. Besides height control, the only advantage to topping is that you can achieve a specific look. 

However, problems like nutrient deficiencies, sunscalding, and pests are high in topped trees. 

Can You Fix Over-Pruned Trees?

Can you kill a tree by over-pruning? Yes, and once you over-prune a tree, there isn’t much you can do to rectify the situation. Instead, you’ll need to wait to see if your tree can recover. However, you can aid this recovery process by properly watering and fertilizing it. 

You’ll also want to avoid wound dressing a tree unless your area has wilt oak disease. Wilt oak disease can attract vectoring beetles that will try to penetrate your tree. Otherwise, you should avoid wound dressing because it often slows the healing process. 

How to Prevent Over-Pruning

The best way to prevent over-pruning is by hiring arborists for the job. At New Leaf Tree Service, our family-owned business can properly prune your trees, ensuring they remain healthy and attractive. 

Call Our Expert Arborists Today

The answer to “Can you kill a tree by over-pruning?” is a resounding yes. However, you can prevent this problem by working with our experienced New Leaf Tree Service team. 

Call us at New Leaf Tree Service today at (502) 419-9899 to learn more about our services in Louisville, KY.

Are trees on your property dying, falling down, or causing you concern? We are ready to hear from you! If you have dying trees, ugly stumps, or just need your landscape cleaned up from fallen debris, reach out today.

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4124 Bishop Ln 103
Louisville , Ky 40218

(502) 419-9899