How to Prune a Tree

There are several reasons that you may need to prune your tree. From health reasons to safety reasons you can prune the tree in order to take care of the problem. Depending on the size of the job you can do it yourself or hire a professional. But there are some things you can do in order to prune your own tree.Some of the reasons you need to prune a tree are:

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To remove branches that are damaged by weather or are diseased.

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To thin the crown in order to let the tree grow for air to circulate better.

* To lower the height of the tree.

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To remove lower branches that are an obstruction.

* To shape a tree to give it a certain design.

When you have decided that your tree needs pruning you have to make the decision to do it yourself or hire a professional. If it is a large tree and the branches are high off the ground it may be a good option to hire professionals. The pruning of larger trees requires climbing and the use of saws. But there are some tools available to you where you can do the job yourself if you are careful.

It does not matter the size of the tree as the key is to prune the unwanted branch while you protect the stem or the trunk of the tree. The branches of the tree grow from stems at nodes, and when you prune it should always be done on the branch side of a stem branch node. There is a separation between the branches and stems by a lip of tissue which is referred to as a “stem collar.” The collar grows out of from the stem at the point where the base of the branch is located. All of the cuts that you make when pruning should be made on the side of the branch where this stem collar is located. This will protect the stem, as well as other branches that may grow from it and it will also let the tree to heal better after pruning. In order to prevent tearing of the bark and stem wood you should follow these steps.

1. On the underside of the branch, the branch side of the stem collar, make a smaller wedge shaped cut . If you do this it will break the bark at that specific point and prevent creating a tear that runs along both the branch and stem tissue.

2. At some point further down the branch and beginning at the top of the branch you should cut all the way through the branch so there is only a stub at the end.

3. The final step is to make a third cut, which is parallel to and on the side of the branch, in order shorten the length of the stub as much as you can.

This is also a procedure which is much the same that can be used in order to prune one of two branches, or a larger branch and the stem, that are joined in a crotch forming a “v” or a “u.” This is referred to as a drop crotch cut. You can make the primary notch on the underside of the branch that you are pruning a good distance above the crotch. Now, for the second cut you make you should completely cut through the branch from the inside of the crotch a good distance above the ridge of bark that joins the two branches. The final step is to make the remaining stub shorter by a third cut to only one side of the branch bark ridge. Typically this cut is parallel to the bark ridge.

In terms of sealing the wound they should be left open to heal naturally. It is also important to prune your trees in the late fall or winter so that insects will not affect the tree or you while pruning.

Author: Jason Green