Tree pruning is essential. Not only to maintain the proper shape of the trees and promote new growth but also to ensure they don’t become a potential hazard. But improper pruning can lead to uneven growth and weaker attachment, which can be even more dangerous than not pruning.
So to help you with your tree pruning technique, here we have listed some simple DIY steps for tree pruning. These methods will help you prune your trees without a hitch, especially if you are a beginner.
➨ Know the Best Time for Pruning
Before you start hacking away the branches of your trees, you should know if it’s the right time. By the right time, we mean whether trimming the tree during this time will harm or benefit them.
While you can do some light pruning any time of the year, as per experts, you need to wait for the dormant season for heavy pruning. The dormant season lasts from late autumn to early winter. In this season, trees store their nutrients in their roots and trunk.
So, trimming the limbs won’t harm the trees as much as trimming them in peak growing season. Also, Pruning during dormancy encourages fresh growth as soon as the weather warms. You can notice the start of the dormancy period when the first leaf falls from the tree.
➨ Decide What to Prune
After you make up your mind on the timing, it is time to decide which areas need pruning. It is because improper tree and shrub pruning by cutting off the wrong parts can stunt their growth permanently.
To identify the areas that need pruning, stand back and visualize how you want it to look post-pruning. Next, make a note of the branches that make up the basic structure of the tree. You should avoid cutting these at all costs.
Keeping these things in mind, here is what you should prune.
- Dead or damaged branches because these can fall at any time and cause damage.
- Also, cut down the branches growing closely together to facilitate better air circulation.
- Remove cross branches and ones that are growing inwards.
- Finally, trim the branches that may become an obstacle later on, like the ones close to telephone poles or extending towards the walkway.
However, before cutting down any area of the tree, ensure you are not cutting off a vital part. If you are unsure about which parts to trim, you can take the help of professionals. Experts will trim only the necessary parts, as it is one of the benefits of professional tree services.
➨ Gather the Right Tools
If you want to give your tree the best pruning, choose the appropriate tools for the task. Pruning tools come in different varieties and sizes, and you should have these tools handy for the project.
- Pick up hand pruners to trim branches 1 inch or less in diameter.
- Choose the lopping shears for pruning branches 2 inches thick.
- Keep a pruning saw to tackle 3-inch wide branches.
- Have a rope saw for branches that are thicker than 5 inches.
- Choose Pole Pruners to reach high branches without many extensions.
Note: Avoid using a Chainsaw without Professional Supervision.
➨ Prune using the 3 Cut Method
It is finally time to prune the tree branches. If you have followed the earlier steps properly and have the right tools, pruning a branch is simple. You just have to follow this 3 cut method.
The First Cut:
Make the initial cut near the stem collar. Keep the cut shallow to prevent the branch from breaking too close to the tree trunk. Also, avoid removing the collar.
The Second Cut:
Make a second cut a few inches away from the first one. Let the shear cut through the branch to remove it, leaving just the stub.
The Third Cut:
Now with only the stub intact, make a cut perpendicular to the stem collar. It will reduce the risk of infection from tree wounds and promote greater growth.
With these steps, you can easily prune your trees and ensure healthier growth of your tree. But if you don’t have the required tools for pruning or feel uncomfortable doing it, you can take help from professional tree services like us at RCS Landscape, LLC.