How Do You Properly Trim a Tree?

You may be wondering: How do you properly trim a tree? Here are a few tips:

In the first year of a tree’s life, prune it to create a strong central leader and ensure it survives the first year.
Be careful, though, and avoid damaging the bark.
Always cut a clean, angled cut.

Smooth cuts heal faster than ones that are deep or too wide. Avoid rubbing branches together because this will result in an open wound. This wound can harbor disease or insects and eventually kill a large portion of the tree.

Proper pruning begins by cutting off any dead, diseased, or damaged branches as close to the bud. The goal is to encourage the new growth to grow in a direction that will promote healthy, controlled growth. Avoid pruning a branch so close to the bud that you can’t put it back. This will ensure your tree’s health and appearance for years to come. You may want to consult a professional arborist before pruning your tree.

A suitable method for removing branches is to cut at about 45 degrees from the collar. The cut should have a diameter equal to or larger than the removed branch. The amount should be slanted so that water doesn’t accumulate in the wound. A slanting cut also speeds up the healing process of the new stump. You should follow the same method when pruning a tree with multiple trunks.

A three-cut technique is another option. This technique will remove stubs from the branches. First, cut a notch in the branch’s stem from the opposite side. Next, make two cuts on the branch’s stem. Then, cut a parallel notch above the ridge of the branch’s bark. The third cut should be made on the opposite side of the crotch.

Before you prune a branch, you must first identify the collar. This is a layer of stem tissue that surrounds the branch’s base. Your pruning cut should be outside this ridge and angled downward away from the unit. The second cut should be slightly outside the first cut. Once you’ve identified the collar, you can proceed to cut the branch. You may need to make the third cut on the branch if the previous two cuts weaken the branch.

Before pruning a tree, you must understand its anatomy. The stem is like the plumbing system of the tree, carrying nutrients and water to the branches. A branch that develops a narrow crotch is weak and may require pruning. A unit with a narrow crotch should be removed when it’s young. A proper cutting method should avoid splitting the bark. Branches should be pruned in three to four cuts, but the first cut should be the largest, where the chapter breaks free.

Remember to never remove more than one-fourth of the tree’s live crown at a time. Instead, make more minor cuts over several years. If you must remove more than that, you should cut the branches at a time to provide clearance for pedestrians or other purposes. Also, keep the live units at least two-thirds of the tree’s height. Avoid cutting too many branches at the bottom half, which will prevent strong stem development.

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