Cutting large tree branch.

How To Trim Large Tree Branches Without Damaging The Tree

September 15, 2019

Everyone homeowner in the Tacoma area has likely had an experience where they look out the window and notice a low-hanging tree branch that is either obstructing their view, leaning on another tree, or dying. When homeowners notice such a branch, they usually do one of two things — they either pick up their phone and get in touch with our team of tree trimming professionals, here at Apex Tree Experts, or they head to the garage to try and find their saw. 

While we would much rather you call our professional tree trimming team, we realize that some people simply want to take care of their yard by themselves. That being said, if you aren’t going to contact us to schedule a tree trimming, we do want you to have the knowledge and understanding of how to do it safely and efficiently yourself. 

Continue reading to learn how to safely remove a low-hanging tree branch in your Tacoma area yard without damaging the tree. 

Safety Disclaimer: If you do not feel comfortable using a chainsaw, telescoping saw, or hand saw while cutting a branch that is above shoulder height, we strongly advise you to contact our team. Specializing in tree trimming and removal, our team of Tacoma arborists is knowledgeable and experienced — allowing them to safely remove unwanted branches in the healthiest way possible for the tree. 

How To Trim Large, Low-Hanging Tree Branches

When you are trimming a tree, it is commonly thought that it takes one cut to remove the branch. It is also commonly thought that the best spot to make the cut is as close to the trunk as possible. Both are false. Below, we have outlined the three cuts that it takes to remove a tree branch.

  • Cut 1, The Notch Cut – When you are cutting the notch cut, you want to roughly place the cut two to three feet from the trunk of the tree on the bottom of the branch. When making the cut, only allow the saw to cut one-quarter of an inch into the branch.
  • Cut 2, The Relief Cut – The second cut, the relief cut, is best placed six to ten inches outside of the notch cut. The relief cut can be made completely through the branch, allowing the majority of the branch to fall to the ground. The purpose of the relief cut is to remove the weight of the branch so that your final cut can be clean and accurate. 
  • Cut 3, The Final Cut – Now that most of the branch has been removed, it is time for the final cut. The final cut is meant to be a clean cut that goes fully through the branch just outside of the branch collar — better known as the “swollen bump” that the branch grows out of. Now you’re done!

For Bigger Projects, Contact Us Today!

Look, we get it —you are able-bodied, have a saw, and now know how to cut a low-hanging branch without damaging the tree. That being said, some branches are not so easy to cut because a) there are a bunch of them, and b) they are too high off of the ground. And if that’s the case, we urge you to contact our Tacoma tree trimming professionals today to schedule a tree trimming. We look forward to hearing from you!