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Tree Trimming: When Should You Do It?

Trees are what make your property beautiful. One or more trees in close proximity to your home create ambiance. But, trimming your trees is an important step to protecting your home, as well.

Tree trimming: when should you do it?

What Needs To Be Done:

Trees need to be trimmed or pruned regularly; certain branches must be cut off to ensure the health of the tree and your family's safety.

Why Do It?

There are many reasons tree trimming is an important part of yard maintenance. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, trees need to be pruned for health, safety and aesthetics. Let's look at each of these benefits:

  • Safety: Removing branches that may cause damage property or people if they fall is a primary reason for tree trimming.
  • Tree Health: Removing dead or diseased branches will benefit the overall health of the tree. In addition, trimming can encourage trees to develop stronger core structure to withstand the elements.
  • Aesthetics: Trimming a tree can accentuate its physical appearance, as well improve flower/fruit production.

How Often?

The Department of Agriculture suggests pruning or trimming trees once per year during the dormant season. But, unforeseen events can prompt an immediate trimming:/p>

  • The tree's growth obstructs visibility for pedestrians or vehicles.
  • A storm causes limbs to fall on power lines.
  • The tree's growth threatens your home, vehicles or property.

If you feel a tree needs to be pruned because it poses a threat, it's important to contact a professional arborist.

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How to Do It:

The No. 1 rule in tree-trimming, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is personal safety. The best way to ensure safety is to hire a professional arborist to trim your trees. The fact that tree-trimming often requires a ladder and sometimes puts the trimmer in close proximity to power lines creates danger, and the safest course is always to leave it up to a professional.

The Department of Agriculture gives these guidelines for deciding when to trim a tree:

  1. Prune first for safety, next for health and finally for aesthetics.
  2. Never prune trees near utility lines. Instead, call your local power company or professional arborist to handle the job. It's simply too dangerous to even get close to power lines, so it's best to leave it to a professional.
  3. Use the following size guide when you prune your trees:
    • Under 5 cm in diameter, go ahead.
    • Between 5 and 10 cm diameter, think twice.
    • Greater than 10 cm, have good reason and consider an arborist.

Once again if you have any doubt of your ability to properly access the situation and conduct the pruning, call a professional arborist. These companies have many years of experience; they can complete the job in a safe and fast manner. It's simply too risky for the average homeowner to take on this task except in the most simple of circumstances. Always remember: Safety first.

Would you like to receive a periodic reminder to trim your trees? Sign up for the Maintenance Reminder.


General: Coverage subject to terms, conditions, and availability. Policy issuance is subject to qualifications. Allstate Insurance Company, Allstate Indemnity Company, Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Company, Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Company, Northbrook, IL. © 2015 Allstate Insurance Company, Northbrook, IL.

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