DIY Pruning: Preparing Your Christmas Tree In 6 Steps

Christmas tree

Are you rushing to decorate a few weeks before Christmas? We got your back! In celebrating the holiday season, one of the most important decorations is the Christmas tree. However, you can’t always have the tree you like. So if you have a bit of a misshaped tree this year, try trimming it a bit.

Meanwhile, if you’re growing your own tree outside the house, pruning it must be done before you harvest or decorate your tree. Pruning is the process of reducing or removing some parts of the tree that are no longer needed. So if a tree has some excess branches, take some time to remove them using the right tools.


If you haven’t pruned a tree before, and you think you need to do it now, here are some tips to prune and prepare your tree before decorating. However, keep in mind that calling an arborist is essential to avoid damaging the tree.

1. Prepare the materials

So you already have a Christmas tree? Before you start decorating, take some time to trim it. However, you should have the right tools to ensure the tree’s safety. Besides, if you don’t prune or trim the tree at all, your decorations might get to waste.

When pruning a tree for the first time, you should prepare the materials:

  • Tree stand (if the tree is no longer attached to its roots)
  • Gardening gloves
  • Hand shear
  • Electric saw

The above discussed materials are plain given that the parts you’re going to streamlined are not too complicated. However, if you think it’s too hard for a beginner, don’t hesitate to contact the nearest arborist in your area.

2. Add some guide sticks or signs

Are you nervous about pruning a Christmas tree for the first time? At least add some guide sticks so you’ll have a vision of where to cut and how long the cut is going to be. Imagine cutting thicker strands of hair, wouldn’t you want to put some marks on where you should cut?

And since this is your first time pruning a tree that you’ll use for Christmas decor, it’s best to take some time before removing a lot of branches and leaves.

When marking the tree, use tape and sticks with a different colour from the tree. That way, you can easily identify where the marks are. In addition, it’ll lower the possibility of having an unexpected turnout.

Christmas tree

3. Don’t forget the “A” shape

When shaping a Christmas tree, don’t forget to follow the natural shape— A. Unfortunately, if you want to shape the tree right before decorating, it’s not advisable to make too many changes. Following the length of the top part can be your guide as to how much you can remove to create a perfect shape.

Before cutting anything, it’s also advisable to create a guide that will make the right proportions. On the other hand, if you’re going to shape it after the growth stage, there’s a chance that it can follow the shape you’ve set.

If you’re wondering when it is the right time to prune according to shape, it’s recommended to do it before the holiday season so it can still grow a bit.

4. Remove dead and weak branches

As mentioned, when pruning, you need to cut unnecessary parts of the tree. Aside from the parts that have grown too much, you should also remove weak and dead branches.

Removing unwanted parts of the Christmas tree can help improve the decorations and lessens the risk of accidents and the spreading of pests and diseases. Usually, when a tree has a couple of dead branches, there’s something that’s making it weak and vulnerable to diseases.

So even before you decorate and let the tree stay inside your house for at least a month, let an arborist perform a quick check-up just to make sure everything’s fine.

Christmas tree

5. Cut one at a time

Since you’re not used to pruning trees, make sure to clear your schedule before starting the project. When you already have the marks that will guide you in creating a perfect shape, don’t rush into cutting the branches at once. Instead, take your time and cut them one at a time.

In addition, don’t forget to cut from top to bottom since the top should be your guide to creating a proportional cut. If there are some branches facing upwards, try to trim them to keep the perfect shape.

Even if you already have some markings, try to cut the branches before the marks and just clean them afterward. It’ll prevent you from overcutting, and you can still do something about it.

6. Hang the ornaments

Finally, once you’re done with your first-ever Christmas tree pruning, it’s time to hang the ornaments and finish decorating. Prepare the garlands, Christmas lights, and decorations you usually put on your tree.

The golden rule when decorating a Christmas tree is to start with the heavy decors at the bottom and work with the lighter ones as you move to the top. That way, the tree can stand elegantly throughout the holiday season.


Are you excited to prune your Christmas tree? It may look complicated at first, but you’ll get there once you’ve added the markings and started cutting. Don’t forget to share your pruning experience by leaving a comment below!

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