If you’re stumped by the question, “How do you properly trim a tree?” there are several things to consider. First of all, remember that unsupported branches can collapse once the weight is removed. Secondly, make the initial cut from the underside to avoid peeling bark off the trunk. Finally, make the final cut from just outside the branch collar, or “stub,” of the branch. Depending on the size and shape of your tree, you may need to perform more than one cut at a time.
Pruning is an essential part of maintaining healthy trees. Young branches are more manageable and have less risk of leaving unsightly scars. Avoid trimming too close, going large units, and cutting the branch collar. You want to leave about 25 percent of the branch stubs. Make sure that all lateral branches are evenly spaced and do not cross. If you can’t get to the stubs, you may need to prune some components.
Ideally, it would help to prune your trees to create a strong central leader. The stubs should be spaced evenly along the trunk. The ideal tree has a prominent leader and strong scaffold limbs. You should also avoid thinning, which involves cutting off entire branches. To prevent this, cut through the branch collar 2 to 3 inches beyond the previous one. Always leave a branch collar intact.
In addition to the stem, other parts of the tree are essential. They act as the plumbing system of the tree, carrying nutrients and water. By dividing the flow of nutrients and water, you can shape a tree by removing weak or undesirable branches. Also, thinned areas allow air and light to reach the entire plant. This is important because trees need good air circulation to stay healthy. Close branches can harbor fungus and attract more insects.
In the first year of a tree’s growth, pruning is crucial to ensuring its survival. It also provides a strong central leader. But it’s essential to be careful to avoid damaging the bark and causing unnecessary damage. Moreover, a smooth cut means a minor wound and the shortest wound closure time. It’s also important to remember to cut branches at an angle, as downward-facing units are particularly susceptible to water accumulation.
When pruning, try not to remove more than one-fourth of the crown at a time. Otherwise, it will trigger a stress response and produce new suckering branches in the wrong places. Besides, unneeded growth will tax the tree’s energy reserves and require more pruning. Ultimately, over-pruning a tree can lead to its death. So, learn how to prune a tree to achieve optimum health correctly.
If you’re confident with your pruning skills and are willing to take the time to educate yourself, you can do it yourself. Whether you’re doing it for aesthetic or health reasons, it’s a great way to maintain your tree’s shape. But you must know how to prune a tree so that it doesn’t stress the tree and cause problems. And remember to breathe! Only then should you attempt pruning on a tree without professional help.