Pruning undercut saves landscape tree

by: Start A Lawn Care Business

Landscape Pruning Video

In April we posted a video on YouTube detailing the correct method of making pruning cuts to take a branch or limb off a tree without damaging the trunk.

The video describes how to use a three-cut method.  First you make an underside cut.  Then you cut through the branch beyond the underside cut.  Finally, you cut through the stub barely beyond the collared union.  This allows the tree to heal properly and prevents against disease and insects.

Crepe Myrtle Pruning

I was recently pruning a Crepe Myrtle landscaping tree.  Crepe Myrtles only require marginal pruning and do not need to be pruned dramatically.  One branch, however, was crossing another and needed to be removed.

I made the underside cut as described in the video and began the top side cut.  When I was slightly over half-way through the top side cut the branch gave way and tore along the bottom of the branch.  At the underside cut, the branch broke free and fell away from the tree.

Undercut Saves the Day (Small)
Underside Cut Saves the Day

If I hadn’t made the underside cut, the branch would have torn into the trunk of the tree causing significant damage threatening the health and life of that tree.

Properly Pruned Crepe Myrtle
Properly Pruned Crepe Myrtle

Landscaping and Lawn Care Business

If you prune landscape shrubs and trees as part of your lawn care business, you are well advised to learn proper pruning techniques.

For more information on starting your own lawn care business, click the “Start A Lawn Care Business” link at the top right of this page.

Good Luck

Lawn Care Equipment Trailer

Let’s take a look at a typical setup for a lawn care / landscaping trailer.


1)  Hand tools:  Leaf rakes, shovel, mattock, pole saw, shears.

2)  Auxilliary lawn mower gas tank.

3)  John Deere push lawn mower.

4) Lunch cooler.

5)  20 lb. air tank.

6)  Traffic Cones

7)  John Deere Z-Trak commercial lawn mower

8)  Water cooler.  Drinking lots of water is important.

9)  Leaf blower rack.  Blower is removed as it is currently in use.

10) John Deere Gator.  Good for moving landscape mulch, grass seed, plants, etc.



1) Lockable Toolbox.  Equiped with all tools needed to work on lawn care equipment and to work in customers’ yards.

2) Weedeater Racks.  2 Commercial grade weedeaters.

3) Flags on rear of trailer.

If you want to start your own lawn care business, click the StartALawnCareBusiness link on the tab to the right.

Lawn Care at the Whitehouse, Washington D.C.

Do you have some good lawn care contracts that you are proud of and that you would like the world to see?  If you are good at your work and you devote yourself to professionalism you can build a strong base of professional lawn care accounts.

Start A Lawn Care Business staff members visit Washington D.C.

The staff of  “StartALawnCareBusiness” took a recent trip to Washington D.C.  We were there on a fact finding mission to better understand how lawns are maintained in dense urban areas.

Lawns in our area of the country often average 3/4  acre of grass coverage for a typical home in a subdivision type community.  Dense urban landscaping is on a much smaller scale.  Lawn Care Companies must learn how to manage the maintenance of such small areas.

Look for upcoming blogs about how to maintain small urban landscape areas.

This blog posting is about a much larger landscaping job.

How About This for a Lawn Care Contract?

While we were in Washington D.C. we took time to visit many historic sites.  The Whitehouse is one of those sites that is a must see while visiting D.C.  We were lucky enough to witness a lawn care crew working landscaping equipment on the South Lawn.

Lawn Care at the Whitehouse South Lawn
Lawn Care at the Whitehouse South Lawn

There are a couple subjects of note.

1) Look a little to the right of the upper middle section of this picture.  Can you see the blue tractor with a front end loader?  Can you imagine the security clearance of the lawn care company working the South Lawn?  If you think getting your insurance and bonding your employees is a hassle just be in these guy’s shoes.

2)  The striping pattern on the South Lawn is beautifully managed.  The perfect lines are to be admired.

If you have ever wanted to operate your own lawn care business, you can learn practically everything you need to know with our lawn care business package.  Visit our website

The complete lawn care business package is on sale right now.

Lawn Mower and Weedeater Safety

Lawn Care Business operators must observe safe operating practices.

If you have read our course work and materials about how to start your own lawn care business, you know how important safety is when you are operating your own lawn care business.

This morning, as I was driving to an appointment, I heard the familiar sound of a commercial string trimmer and commercial lawn mower.  I detoured slightly out of my way to see if it was a familiar lawn care company.   I didn’t know the guys running the equipment and they seemed to be doing a nice job on the lawn grass they were cutting.

Though they were doing a professional job on the grass, something struck me enough about the scene that I grabbed my camera and took a quick photograph through my window.

What do you notice about this picture?

Lawn mower and weedeater safety
Okay, I am not going to beat up on these guys.  They did quick, efficient work and the grass looked good when they finished.  But,  they need to think some more about safety.

Long-time readers of this blog and of our “Start A Lawn Care Business” program probably already know the safety problems seemingly apparent in this photograph.  Let’s start with the string trimmer safety guard.

1)  Line trimmer safety guards

Look at the weedeater.  Where’s the safety guard?   Apart from holding the line limiter blade, the safety guard provides some protection from flying rocks and debris.  We recommend not removing safety guards.  They are there for a purpose.

2) Lawn Care Operator clothing and safety gear.

The guy with the weedeater is wearing shorts, low rise walking shoes, no hearing protection that I could see, and no safety glasses.  What safety gear/clothing did I miss?

Look at his legs.  He is getting pelted with grass and debris.  What happens if the weedeater slings a rock into his leg causing a gash and then he hits a pile of dog poo that gets into the cut?  (Trust me; I know about weedeaters and dog poo)  I’m certainly not a medical professional but dog poo in an open wound can’t be good for you.

Hearing protection?  “What?”   I SAID “HEARING PROTECTION!!!”  I know hearing protection is uncomfortable and inconvenient.   So what…WEAR IT.

Safety Goggles?  Guys who never wear safety goggle never read this blog….BECAUSE THEY CAN’T SEE ANYMORE!!!   Wear safety goggles!!!!

3)  Awarness of surroundings

The guy operating the commercial walk-behind lawn mower is throwing grass all over the guy who is already covered with grass from his weedeater.  Lawn mowers throw things other than grass.  They also throw sticks and stones…those hurt bones.  Be careful where you aim mower discharge.  Oh, and the guard on the mower?  Yeah, he has it flipped up so it’s not doing any good.

Lawn mowing is dangerous.  Use caution.

If you don’t know all your safety options and obligations, check out the CDC and OSHA at and

Good luck guys.  Be sure to check out our Lawn Care Business program.  It is a perfect resource for anyone starting out (and with less than 5 years experience) in a lawn care business.