The Essentials To Proper Tree Pruning


When you prune your tree, it is vital that you do this properly. Incorrect pruning of the tree can lead to growth problems as well as damage to the trunk. There are a number of essentials that you need to know before you start pruning your trees.

Start At The Top

When you look at pruning a tree, you should start any visual inspection at the top of the tree. Working from the top down will ensure that you are able to determine what needs to be pruned at every level. Pruning too much from the bottom while leaving the top intact can cause issues that you will want to avoid.

Use The Third And Quarter Rules

There are 2 rules of pruning that you need to use at all times. The first is to never remove more than a quarter of the tree’s crown in any single season. Removing too much from the top of the tree will hinder the growth and could cause the tree trunk to split.

The second rule is that the main side branches of the tree should be at least a third smaller than the trunk diameter. Additionally, deciduous trees should be pruned using the third rule. This rule is that the trees should not be pruned by more than a third of the total height of the tree.

Do Not Worry About Protecting Cuts

A lot of people paint larger pruning wounds to protect the tree. However, this will not prevent or reduce any decay that will come from the cuts as the painting will often seal the diseases into the tree. If you are worried about the aesthetics of the tree, you might want to consider painting the wounds, but you should do this with the correct paint or sealant.

Use The Correct Tools

Pruning your tree can be dangerous depending on the location of the branches. If you are going to be pruning high branches, you should use a pole pruner. For pruning on very large trees, it is recommended that you hire a professional arborist to complete this.

The tools that you use should also be kept sharp to minimize the damage to the tree. One-hand pruning shears which have a curved blade are the best tools to use on saplings and young trees.

Trees Should Have A Single Trunk

When pruning, you may notice that your tree has split into 2 separate trunks. For most tree species, a single trunk is ideal and you should prune the tree for form. When pruning for form, you need to identify which of the separate trunks is the best leader before you prune. You should then remove the other defective parts to ensure that only a single trunk remains.

Pruning trees can be more difficult than most people imagine. When pruning trees, you have to ensure that you use the correct tools and that remember the quarter and third rules. If you are in doubt when pruning, it is recommended that you contact a professional arborist to help.

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