Do It Yourself Tree Care 
is it right for you?

If you own property, there's probably a little bit of Do It Yourself inside of you, wondering about how much tree care you can do to save yourself money and enrich yourself with new skills and accomplishments... And yes, there is quite a lot of tree care that you can do yourself.

First we must establish the boundary about what you may not do. And please, take it from the professional who sees the mistakes and the accidents of homeowners.

You can do it yourself if:

  • You can reach it from the ground –NO LADDERS!!! Too many accidents result from attempts to prune trees from ladders. Please don’t join this club.
  • You know the basics of making proper pruning cuts or are willing to learn.
  • You have prior experience with pruning tools. 
  • You are not a complete idiot –you know who we are talking about (and if this is your husband, hide the tools and don’t let him out of the house this Sunday).

Dogwood Before
Dogwood After

Dogwood before and after a light thinning. Note how natural the tree still if nothing had been done at all. The lower branches have been removed (less scarring to tree and person during mowing), and select branches have been removed to minimize over extended weight and to create a pleasing shape. This can all be done from the ground with hand pruners and a pole pruner. No chain saw required.

Don’t sign your tree up for experimentation. Incorrect pruning can mortally wound the tree or in the least, take several years to overcome.

You will want to hire a tree service if:

  • If the tree is tall or large enough to require a ladder
  • If there is property under the tree that may become damaged.
  • You are spending too much time on the internet trying to figure out if you can do it yourself!
  • You need a chainsaw and you've forgotten how to use it.
  • You sense privately that you are NOT confident--it's okay, you are great at something else! 


Learn about proper Tree Mulching techniques 

Removal of stumps--read the bottom of our stump removal page! 

New Trees:

Planting a Bare Root Tree

Planting a Balled & Burlapped Tree (B&B)

Choosing a Nursery Tree 

Choosing a live Christmas Tree and how to care for it! 

Pruning at ground level:

Get the proper tools

Coming soon--make a proper cut

Leave Do-it-Yourself and return to Home page of

Make sure you hire an ISA Certified Arborist® for your tree care!
Here's what to look here

Charlottesville VA
Tree Service

K Thomas Lawson, ISA Certified Arborist® No. MA-0305A

We service the
Charlottesville Virginia area

powered by NiceJob

Check this out!  what can a 24 inch diameter Northern Red Oak in your yard* do this year?

Your tree will:

  • Intercept 7,129 gallons of storm-water runoff

  • Raise the property value by $98 per year
  • Add 509 square feet of Leaf Surface Area
  • Conserve 208 kilowatt/hours of electricity for cooling
  • Reduce air temperatures around and below it
  • Intercept particulates like dust, ash & smoke
  • Absorb pollutants like ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide
  • Reduce atmospheric carbon by 902 pounds.

Wow, let’s take care of those trees

  • Prune to maintain health;
  • Remove before they are too dangerous for you and your property!


*Charlottesville geographic region

This calculation was done at

Red Oak in Charlottesville VA