Can you trim your own trees? If you have the proper equipment and feel safe up on a ladder, then you likely can. However, you will want to be careful and avoid making a few common mistakes and pitfalls. Here's where people sometimes go wrong with DIY tree trimming. Work to avoid these mistakes.
Taking off too much at once.
If your tree looks really overgrown or misshapen, you may figure you'll just trim away all of the excess growth and create the shape you want. But if you take off too much at once, that can be really hard on the tree. Take it easy, and be sparing with the number of branches you remove. Let the tree rest for a year, and then trim some more away. The year after that, you can reshape it even more. This slow, progressive approach helps ensure the tree always has enough leaves to capture enough sunlight to make enough food for itself.
Using dull shears.
If you have trimming shears that have been kicking around in your shed or garage for a while, don't just pull them out and start trimming your tree. If those shears are on the dull side, they will tear at the wood and create a wound that the tree will struggle to heal. Take those shears to a sharpening facility first. Most hardware stores will sharpen shears, and knife shops tend to offer this service, too. Sharp shears can cut through a tree branch without tearing it, which is easier on the tree and also easier on your arms.
Removing the ends of branches.
Trimming a tree does not mean cutting the ends off of branches that are too long. Branches grow from their ends, so by removing the ends, you are removing the most alive, growth-generating tissues. Instead, when you find a branch that's too long or out of place, remove the whole branch. You can leave a little nub. In fact, there are some benefits to doing so.
Be especially careful not to trim away the end of the leader, or main trunk of the tree. This is easy to accidentally do on a younger tree, and it will forever affect its growth.
If you're able to avoid these common pitfalls, you can trim your own trees. Talk to a tree trimming company if you need assistance. Most will be happy to trim your trees, and they can often do it quite affordably. For more information on tree trimming, contact a professional near you.