Tree Cutting 101

Using a Pressure Washer on Trees

A pressure washer can be a wonderful tool for any home. Whether you need to clean your sidewalk or fence, the pressure washer can leave your property looking brand-new. Can it do the same thing for a tree, though?

It seems that many people have begun using pressure washers to clean their tree trunks. They like being able to clean the mold, bugs, moss, and other items from the base of their tree. They believe it will help the tree look better and be healthier. Besides, what’s the harm? This post is brought to you by our sponsors at

Well, think about it. A pressure washer is up to 50 times stronger than a typical garden hose. That kind of pressure can hurt your trees. A power washer is basically a hose that is super powered. The engine causes the flow of water to be intensified, spraying up to 4000 psi, or pounds of pressure for every square inch. A typical garden hose only flows at around 50 psi. This is a huge difference.

The extra force provided by a pressure washer is great for cleaning up mildew you and grime from your outdoor furniture, patio, a car, but when you use it to spray a tree, the outermost layer of the tree is forcefully removed. Depending on the type of tree and the psi of the pressure washer, chunks of bark can be removed from your tree. As you continue spraying the tree, the tree cells located beneath the bark can also be damaged.

Even when you set a pressure washer on a slow setting, it is still too strong for a tree. If you need to clean your tree trunk, use a simple garden hose and some elbow grease. If you need to get rid of moss are lichen from your tree trunk, all you need is your hands to pull it off.

Next time you are tempted to use a pressure washer on a tree, remember the damage you could be doing. Instead, protect your trees and help them live a long and healthy life.