How to Trim a Tree Limb


Trimming back your tree branches is important to your trees in order to encourage new growth, create an aesthetic beauty, and also to prevent and get rid of tree disease. Pruning is best done in the winter or fall. Most often tree limbs are trimmed because they are dead or broken, but it is also done to prune out too many branches. Other times, pruning is needed to thin the branches of a tree.

Step 1

Decide whether you need a ladder to reach the tree limb you want to trim so you can get it ready before beginning. Put on gloves and protective eyewear.

Step 2

Begin to cut on the underside of the tree limb with the saw, about 2 feet from the trunk. This is where the protective eyewear will benefit you most.

Step 3

Cut halfway up through the underside of the branch. Then bring the saw on top of the same limb, lining up with the cut you made on the underside of the branch. Use the saw to continue cutting through until you meet your first cut. This helps create a more clean cut and is safer for the tree bark.

Step 4

Cut away the limb completely. Next focus on the tree limb stub, using the saw to cut it off in the same way you cut off the limb.

Step 5

Make sure the cut-off area is as smooth as possible. Use a spray sealer to cover the open tree limb wound just in case, to prevent disease or insects from harming the sensitive area.

Things You'll Need

  • Protective eyewear
  • Gloves
  • Ladder
  • Saw
  • Spray sealer


  • Trimming Trees
  • Pruning Trees
Keywords: pruning branches, trimming trees, caring for trees

About this Author

Lauren Wise has more than eight years' experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food, wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in various magazines, including "Runway," "A2Z," "Scottsdale Luxury Living" and "True West." Wise holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Arizona State University.