Posted on: 18 June 2018Share
If you have trees in your yard that need a little pruning, you want to make sure that you are doing the pruning correctly. It is important to correctly prune your trees so that you don't do any damage to them and you ensure that your trees continue to grow properly.
Inspect the Tree First
Before you start cutting branches, take some time to inspect the tree. Look at the tree, starting at the top and working your way downward. Look for tree branches that are broken and damaged first. Then, pay attention to tree branches that are growing upward or are crossing over other branches; these are not the strongest type of branches and should be removed.
As you inspect the tree, keep in mind that you don't want to prune too many branches. You don't want to remove more than a quarter of the branches from a tree at one time. That is why you should inspect a tree from top to bottom first in order to determine what branches to cut. You don't want to start cutting only to realize that you've already cut away enough branches and you have more damaged branches to remove.
Make Sure That the Tree Has One Trunk
Next, the tree should only have one dominate trunk to it. You don't want the tree to have more than one trunk; if it seems like a secondary trunk has started to form, you are going to want to get rid of the secondary trunk. Choose the trunk that is more dominate, and prune away any the less dominate trunk.
If there are any branches growing up from the bottom of the tree, these branches are trying to establish a trunk and need to be pruned while they are still small.
Make Clean Cuts
When you prune your tree, make sure that you make a clean cut. When you make a cut, you want to make it as close as possible to the trunk of the tree. The cut should happen right outside the branch bark and the swollen area on the branch meets with the tree trunk; this area is called the ridge collar. Making cuts at this point will give the cuts the best chance of healing.
Make sure that you are using a sharp instrument to cut with. For smaller branches, you may be able to use a pruning tool. For larger branches, you may need to use a hand or chain saw to make the cuts.
Before you prune a tree, evaluate the tree to determine which branches you need to cut first. Remember, you don't want to remove more than a quarter of the branches on a tree; this could cause the tree to go into shock. Keep the cuts close to the tree trunk and be sure to use a sharp instrument that will leave behind a clean cut.
For professional help pruning your trees, contact companies like Schulhoff Tree & Lawn Care, Inc.