Lions-tailing is a terrible but common practice in residential tree pruning. The phrase loins-tailing comes from the look of a pruned branch after this “technique” has been used. The branch will be long and slender with no other branches and a poof of leaves on the end, similar looking to a lion’s tail. We see this practice most commonly with undertrained or new trimmers but unfortunatly there are well-established companies that think this is a good practice. So how do you know if your tree contractor is about to decimate your tree? Some key phrases are:
If you hear any of these phrases STOP and ask for clarification! Make certain you know you are signing up for. Once the branches have been cut it is really hard to put them back.
Lions-tailing causes quite a few problems in trees such as:
And if all those were not reasons enough to not lions-tail your tree, it will also look like crap.
The picture above is a before picture of two maple trees in a front yard. These maple trees could use some corrective pruning but are in good shape. A fly-by-night tree crew from out of town came door knocking and the next picture is the result of their work.
To this day this picture still blows my mind. Both of these trees are on the same property and were trimmed by the same tree crew, but they were trimmed completely opposite, and yet, still both completely wrong. For this topic, we are focusing on the right tree which has been lions-tailed. As you can tell from the leaf color in the background we are going into fall, so let’s jump forward to the next spring storm with the picture below.
The crew that had done the initial work was long gone when this tree split, so we were the ones that removed this once beautiful tree.
Pruning is best left to professional arborists who have the training and knowledge to safely and properly perform the work. If you are needing some pruning done we would love to help prune your trees but also keep them healthy and beautiful. Contact Wellnitz Tree Care to schedule an appointment today. Or check
310 Congress Street, Emporia, KS 66801 • 5709 SW 21st St., Suite 108, Topeka, KS 66604