Trimming a tree is more complicated than you'd think. You have to make sure you can reach the branches you want to trim. You have to time the trimming session right so you don't stress out the tree. It is really important to consider these things as you trim. But you should also pay attention to the cuts you make. Cutting a branch only takes a few seconds, but what you do during those few seconds is so important. Here are some guidelines you should follow as you make your cuts.
Position the shears past the branch collar
Sometimes when trimming a tree, people try to cut as close to the trunk as possible. Their intentions are good; they want to make the job look tidy. The problem with this approach is that where the branch meets the trunk, there is a bundle of vascular tissue known as the branch collar. If you cut through this tissue, the tree will leak a lot more sap. Not only is this worse for the tree's health, but it can also attract insects. So, before you make a cut, take a moment to ensure your shears are positioned about 1/2 an inch to an inch from the trunk of the tree. They should be just past the point where the branch narrows a bit. With this strategy, you leave the branch collar in tact.
When you go to close the shears and make your cut, do not hesitate. You want to cut through the branch in one swift move. Otherwise, if you end up cutting only partway through and leaving some frayed wood behind, the tree may struggle to heal the wound. Some people like to psych themselves up for making the cut by counting to three and then closing the shears.
When positioning the shears before you cut, make sure they are positioned straight up and down. This way, you will leave a flat nub sticking out from the trunk, rather than an angled piece. The flat nub is less likely to catch someone's arm, and your cut branches will also appear more uniform if they are all cut at the same angle.
When trimming trees, it really is all about your cuts. Follow the tips above, or contact a tree trimming service in your area for more information on how to properly trim the trees on your property.