Pruning Trees When, How Much & Tools

Trees will naturally close the wounds that are created when branches are removed. Therefore the pruning wounds on trees should close on their own. There also should not be any problems with insects with the open would if you prune in the recommended times of fall and winter.

But there are some cases where it may be a good option to seal the wound by using non-asphalt based pruning sealer. You should seal the wound if the tree you pruned is susceptible to insect damage on such trees as oak, birch, and elm. You may also want to seal the wound if the weather is very dry, as with applying the sealer the tree will retain moisture better.

When to Prune

For many trees the best time to prune is in the dormant season, which is in the late fall or winter. This is the best time to remove any dead branches on your trees. If you prune during the dormant season it can minimize the loss of sap, stress on the tree, and infestation of insects and fungi. Insects are much likely to be less active during the dormant season, considering the cooler weather. With deciduous trees it is easer to see what the tree will look like when pruning it because there are no leaves present. It may be the case that some fruit and flower trees should be pruned at various times throughout the year, as this will depend if they flower on the growth of the previous year.

How Much To Prune

When you make a decision in how much you want to prune a tree the general rule of thumb is the less the better. Every time you prune it puts stress on a tree and makes it more susceptible to diseases and insect infestation. You should never prune in excess of 25% of the crown of the tree. You should also make sure that the living branches on the tree make up at least 2/3 of the tree height. The more you prune the more likely you are to damage the tree. It may be the case that you have no choice and you have to prune. For example you have to prune because storm damage, to reduce the of height to avoid utility lines, or to raising the crown of the tree in order to meet municipal bylaws But even if these instances occur you should still follow the rule of thumb, as the less pruned the better.

There are several tools that you can use in order to prune a tree. You should always try to keep them in good condition and be careful with them when you use them.

Here are a few tools you can use for pruning:

* Rope Saws - These are a safer tool to use when pruning as you pull the ropes to prune while you are on the ground.

* Folding Pruner - This is a versatile folding pruning saw that is attached to an extension pole in order to prune in higher places.

* Pole Pruner & LopperĀ - This is one of the more common tools for pruning as they are attached to an extension pole. Generally it includes a 14″ pruning saw blade and a lopper.

* Portable Buck Saw - This pruning tool is lightweight and can be collapsed.

NOTE: When you are finished pruning you should disinfect your tools with a solution made from 1 part bleach to 9 parts water. Then clean the tools with soapy water and dry with a towel. This is very important as diseases in trees can be easily spread by tools that are infected.

Author: Jason Green