How to prune a large tree

Midwest Gardening — When and How to Prune Large Trees

Pruning Large Trees requires experience and proper equipment, consider calling a professional

It is important to understand first why you need to prune trees.

  • Prune for tree health, which involves removing dead, broken or diseased branches. Opening up the crown by thinning will increase air circulation and allow sunlight in.

  • Prune for strong structure, removing branches that cross or touch each other.

  • Prune for safety, including keeping limbs clear of power lines and limbs that block view when entering or exiting a driveway. But also to allow clearance where necessary for mowing, trimming or just passing under.

  • Prune to improve or enhance the form or character of the tree, or to increase flower production.

Never prune just because you think you should.  Most trees will develop a pleasant natural form on their own.   Dead, broken or diseased branches should definitely be pruned for the health of the tree.  Otherwise be cautious or call a professional.  Small branches easily removed with a lopper or pruning saw you need not worry about.  Larger branches that require more serious equipment require more serious thought.

Just as important is when you should prune your trees.

  • Prune trees when dormant after the leaves have fallen so you can easily see the structure.

  • Prune trees when dormant to reduce sap flow and disease and insect exposure.

  • Prune trees that flower in early spring immediately after flowering as flower buds are formed the season prior to the bloom.

  • Prune trees that flower in summer or fall when dormant, as flower buds are formed on spring growth.

Although pruning a shade tree need not be complicated it does require thoughtful assessment.  It may also require a professional with professional equipment.   Climbing a tree with large sharp tools or a chain saw, or operating a saw on a tall ladder is not safe for the inexperienced.  If your tree is not too large and you decide to tackle the pruning yourself, well maintained equipment and sharp clean tools are a must.

Trees with a pyramid form typically have one strong central leader.  Trees with a more rounded form often have lateral branches that will compete with the central leader for dominance.  The rounded crowns are most often the ones that require pruning to maintain the strong central leader and strong uniform branching.

Before making a cut, or the final cut in branch removal, locate the branch collar.  This is where the branch joins either the main trunk or a primary lateral branch.  The collar is sometimes quite evident as a defined ridge all the way around the joint.  Sometimes it is not much more than a ridge in the bark.  Your final removal cut should be just outside that collar or ridge, angling down and away from the tree.   The natural tendency to cut a branch flush with the trunk or adjoining branch is common and removes the branch collar.  A final cut inside the collar can prohibit proper healing, cause a weak structure and unnatural growth such as watersprouting as shown at left.  Cutting too far outside the collar will cause branch dieback, the decay inviting problems.

Large branches need to be removed making three separate cuts.  If you try to remove a heavy branch in a single cut, the weight of the branch will pull it down before you finish, tearing the bark (not to mention pinching and trapping your chain saw, a difficult predicament to get out of).  First cut a notch on the underside of the branch outside of the branch collar.  The next cut should be clear through the branch but outside of the notch.  Now you have a small manageable stump to remove between the collar and the first notch. 

Pruning for health and strong structure:  Thinning the Crown

Thinning the crown of the tree can improve the strength and structure of the tree as well as allow air and sun access to the central limbs of the tree.   Begin by removing all branches that cross each other or touch each other.  The branches should be removed at the point that it attaches to another branch, which is a node, and paying close attention to branch collars as mentioned.  Sometimes that is enough, and if you are pruning in the dormant season you can clearly see the branch structure to properly evaluate.  If additional pruning seems necessary, remember that you should never remove more than 25 percent of the crown in one season.  Next you should select branches that grow either strongly upward, or strongly downward.  Select a few branches to remove spaced throughout the crown.  Lateral branches should be somewhat evenly spaced along the trunk.  Examine the union at the base of the branch.  A strong union forms a U shape, a weaker union is more closed, forming a V or the reverse a very wide union.  This does NOT mean that every weak union should be removed!  Select branches to remove with a weak union, but bear in mind that some species naturally grow with weaker V shaped unions, such as the Elm shown at right.   In that case, evaluate the overall structure, then err toward the weakest unions. Remember that it is better to remove too little than too much.  Evaluate the work in the next growing season and you can remove additional branches next dormant season if necessary.

Pruning for Safety:  Raising the Crown

Trees along the street or sidewalk may need to be pruned to allow pedestrian traffic to pass underneath and to clear sight lines for traffic.  Trees in the landscape may also need to be pruned to allow passage for mowing, trimming or just passing through the lawn.  Simply remove all branches outside the branch collar where they join the trunk up to a comfortable level for pedestrians to pass.  Never remove more than one third the height of the crown in one season.  Again, more can be removed in the next dormant season if necessary.

Pruning for Safety:  Reducing the Crown

Poor planning may result in a tree growing into overhead power lines.   Trees are often “topped” (simply sheared straight across the top) to relieve the situation, causing an unsightly form and unnatural regrowth.  Likewise, the random reduction of branch length midway can cause watersprouting as seen at right. 

Instead, remove the tallest sections of the crown from the interior at a level substantially lower than the required high point.  Select a “cluster” of branches to be removed and find its main joint to the tree.  The lateral branch that will remain should be at least one third the diameter of the branch you remove.  This will generally be a section that is too large to handle in one cut and should be removed in manageable portions until the selected joint is reached.  Use the 3 step cutting method to make this final removal also.  Lateral outward facing branches can remain to help balance the crown structure.  Although this example is still quite severe, the idea is clearly illustrated.  And the tree retains a somewhat more natural form, and grows stronger and healthier.

Sound too complicated?  Big job?  Please, call a professional.

Next Page Pruning Ornamental Trees

How to Trim Large Trees and When To Hire a Pro

Trees can add great beauty, curb appeal and value to a home, but when their branches grow so long that they begin to scrape against the house or become a falling hazard during a storm, many homeowners want to know how to trim their large trees. There are many benefits of pruning a mature tree, including removing dead or diseased branches, increasing light and airflow to the tree’s inner canopy and reducing the risk of a branch falling and potentially causing harm. Trimming large trees involves working with specialized tools and demanding physical labor, which is why many homeowners have their trees professionally trimmed regularly. If you want to know the steps involved or think you might be up for the job, you’ll want to do your homework.

Here are the basics of how to trim large trees:

  • Once you’ve identified a limb that needs to be cut, you would need to make your first of three cuts—a small notch on the underside of the branch, about two to three feet out from the trunk. This is called the notch cut, and it should extend only about a quarter of the way through the branch’s thickness.
  • Next, you’d want to cut off the branch just past the notch cut (meaning, between the notch cut and the tip of the branch, not between the notch and the trunk). This is called the relief cut, and its purpose is to remove the bulk of the branch’s weight so the tree won’t split when you make your final and most important cut.
  • Finally, the final cut is made by identifying the branch collar—the collar-like bump that forms where a tree branch grows out from the trunk. Many people think they should cut off branches flush to the trunk, but this is not the case. Instead, you want to make your final cut at the point where the collar narrows into the branch itself. Make sure to make a cut that is flush to the natural angle of the collar; if that’s not possible, cut from the bottom up instead of the side or top.

Trimming any tree, and especially a mature one, should always be done with great planning, care and consideration to avoid harming the tree, yourself, someone else or your property in the process. Many people believe tree trimming to be relatively simple, but it’s actually somewhat complex. It’s important to know the aspects of proper tree trimming to ensure that you prune the right limbs, at the right points, in the right manner and during the right season, in order to avoid damaging the tree.

Do-it-yourself tree trimmers also need to know how to exercise proper care to make sure they don’t wind up injuring themselves during the pruning process. Many people don’t realize how dangerous it can be to reach up into a tree’s branches with a long-handled saw until they’re in the middle of pruning and find themselves at risk of cutting themselves with their saw or cutting a branch in such a way that it hits them as it falls to the ground. At this point, you may be starting to see why professional arborists go through extensive training and certification processes to master their trade!

If your tree trimming job is truly a simple one—for example, all you need is to remove a small, dead branch that is located low on the tree—it could be a straightforward enough job to tackle on your own. Before doing so, however, make sure you have the right tools, including a decent tree pruner (which can be found at your local hardware or home improvement store), along with good gloves and safety goggles to protect your eyes and hands. Also, be sure to have a working knowledge of safe ways to cut a tree branch without causing damage to the tree.

It’s important to be extremely mindful of safety—that of yourself, other people, any pets and your property—throughout the pruning process. When making the relief cut, for example, make absolutely sure beforehand that when the branch falls, it won’t hit anything or anyone. Additionally, don’t try to trim limbs you can’t reach from the ground; instead, contact a tree care specialist to handle the higher branches in need of pruning.

Trimming large trees can be done at any time of year if there is a limb that is an obvious fall hazard, but optimally, tree trimming should be done sometime between late fall and early spring. Cutting back limbs before late spring and summer arrive will help the tree bounce back from the cuts as quickly and completely as possible. It’s a good rule of thumb to make it an annual practice to inspect your trees during the early spring, remove any dead limbs and cut branches back from your home, garage and other structures to create several feet of clearance.

Many homeowners wind up hiring an arborist rather than risking their own safety along with their trees’ wellbeing by trying to trim branches themselves. It’s important to make sure to hire a certified tree care specialist, and, if you have oak trees, preferably one who is Oak Wilt Qualified. Someone with this level of knowledge and training can easily handle your tree trimming needs along with all other aspects of tree maintenance. This includes identifying trees that may be struggling due to pests like termites or borers, or diseases such as oak wilt or hypoxylon canker.

There are some differences in how to prune certain types of trees, oaks included. Keep reading to learn more about how to prune your oak trees to keep them healthy.

Helpful Tips for Oak Tree Pruning

There are several types of oak trees that are common throughout the U. S., including live oaks, red oaks and Mexican oaks. If you have oak trees in your landscape and want to make sure they are staying healthy, it’s important to educate yourself about oak wilt. Red oaks are the most susceptible to this serious fungal disease, while white oaks are the least susceptible. Live oaks are somewhere in the middle and Mexican oaks are relatively resistant to wilt. If you have an oak tree that you suspect might be suffering from oak wilt, it is extremely important not to trim its branches without consulting a qualified professional. Cutting branches from a tree with oak wilt at the wrong time of year, or without taking proper precautions, can put you at a higher risk of spreading the disease to nearby healthy trees.

Signs of oak wilt include:

  • A reddish tint to the leaves’ vascular tissue
  • Black or gray fungal mats on the trunk of the tree
  • Wilted or curled leaves
  • Dead crowns

Keep in mind that it can be difficult to determine whether your tree has oak wilt or some other condition. If you have any hesitation, contact an Oak Wilt Qualified professional for an evaluation.

It is also important to consider the timing of pruning your oaks. Again, this relates to the risk of oak wilt and other diseases. Rather than pruning oaks in the early spring, which is recommended for many other types of trees, it may be better to prune oak trees in the winter, when they are fully dormant. This will reduce the risk of diseases entering through the open wounds left after trimming. Similarly, it is also wise to clean your pruning tools after each cut with a mixture of water and bleach, to disinfect the cutting surfaces and reduce risk of spreading disease. Lastly, always apply a dressing to fresh wounds after pruning to ensure that your oak tree is protected from diseases and pests.

Note that improper pruning techniques can further weaken oak trees and make them more susceptible to grave diseases. This is yet another reason that people with oak trees should be fully educated about best practices for pruning oaks, or they should hire a knowledgeable and experienced arborist who can trim oaks correctly.

One method of pruning that many homeowners have heard of and inquire about is tree topping.

Tree Topping: Harmful or Beneficial?

Tree topping—also called dehorning, heading, stubbing or crowning—is a pruning practice, usually performed in early spring, that is simultaneously popular and controversial among home gardeners. Popular especially for certain types of ornamental and flowering trees, such as crepe myrtles, tree topping is the practice of cutting off trees’ main trunks and smaller branches at a uniform height. Among tree topping proponents, the practice is intended to serve two main purposes: to keep the trees from growing too tall and to encourage showier blooms.

There are several reasons why many knowledgeable landscapers and home gardeners alike warn against tree topping, starting with the fact that the practice weakens trees’ natural strength and instead encourages the growth of numerous, thinner stems from the newly cut branches. Furthermore, tree topping doesn’t stimulate trees to produce more blooms; in fact, it causes them to produce fewer yet larger blooms, which can be too heavy for the new, thin branches to support.

Another reason to avoid tree topping is the fact that cutting off the tops of trees removes many of their leaves, which are trees’ main source of food. Leaves contain chlorophyll, which interacts with sunlight in a process called photosynthesis to produce food for the whole tree. When a tree’s leaves appear sparse or discolored, some people might think topping the tree will encourage fresh growth, but a far better way to address the problem is to have a certified arborist inspect the tree for disease and recommend steps to help the tree thrive.

Professional arborists can also help with keeping trees trimmed appropriately. Trees should never be topped in order to keep them from growing “too tall” for the space where they were planted. Instead, both taller trees and smaller trees or shrubs should be planted in appropriate spots in your yard that can accommodate their natural height and the spread of their branches over time.

Of course, it’s common for homeowners to have trees that need to be trimmed away from the house or other structures on their property. Fortunately, there are many good ways to prune trees appropriately without drastically topping and potentially damaging them permanently. Additionally, by hiring certified arborists, you won’t need to worry about how to save a dying tree due to improper trimming techniques. These specialists can assist with all aspects of tree care, including pruning and trimming branches and dead limbs, diagnosing tree diseases and recommending types of trees that will thrive in your particular yard or garden space. Having a professional prune your trees as well as help maintain your lawn and plants can ensure your landscape is getting the attention and specialized care it needs to thrive.

ABC Can Keep Your Trees Healthy and Beautiful

It can be difficult to find the time, tools and expertise to keep your trees healthy—even more so if your trees are large. At ABC Home & Commercial Services, we have a team of certified arborists who are here to provide any tree service you may need and specialists that can provide you with a variety of lawn services. We have a deep knowledge of when and how to trim trees so they will be healthy for many years to come.

How to prune a tree correctly: when and how to prune



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The correct trimming time, the existing types of this procedure and detailed instructions are in our article.


Fruit-studded trees are the dream of every gardener. It can be brought to life only under the condition of competent and full-fledged care for plantings. Competent pruning of fruit trees is especially important, without which their normal growth and development are impossible. In this case, there is no need to wait for a bountiful harvest either. Let's figure out how to cut the fruit correctly.

All about tree pruning

When to prune
Types of pruning
Tools for the job
Rules of procedure

Processing times may vary. There is only one general rule - plants should be in a state of complete rest, that is, sap flow is as slow as possible. Otherwise, they will expire with juice, the wounds will heal for too long. Find out when you can prune trees.

Early spring

Considered the best time for pruning. Plants are still sleeping, sap flow has not started. The exact dates are determined by the weather. So, the temperature must be positive. When negative, brittle wood is prone to cracks and fractures, which means it overgrows worse. Usually, in the middle lane, crops begin to be cut from the end of March, in the south earlier. Although you have to be guided by the weather. Sometimes, due to weather conditions, these dates are shifted by two or three weeks.

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Some gardeners cut branches during the February thaw. It is possible, but rather risky. If suddenly severe frosts strike in March, and this is quite likely, the tree will suffer greatly. All work must be carried out before the moment when the kidneys begin to burst. From this point on, until the leaves fully unfold and the end of flowering, the trees are very vulnerable. Cutting during these periods is strictly prohibited. An exception is the extremely necessary sanitary removal of branches or their fragments.

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Summer pruning of fruit trees is not recommended. In order to limit growth, it is allowed to cut or pinch young shoots. Large branches should not be touched. In the summer it is necessary to remove the so-called tops. These are shoots, due to which the tree organism is updated. They appear as a result of improper watering, damage received by the culture, etc.

Spinning tops are usually cut out because they do more harm than good. Experienced gardeners can form fruit branches from them, but they do not always do this. At the beginning of the summer season, fruit vines are cut: lemongrass, actinidia, grapes. Do not do this in the spring. During the period of active sap flow, they lose a large amount of juice. Because of what they can die.

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Autumn pruning possible in warm regions. It is carried out after the leaves fall. At this time, rejuvenating, shaping and restorative treatment is performed. For areas with a cold climate, this is not recommended, since cutting branches reduces the winter hardiness of the crop. Some gardeners do not risk performing the procedure even in warm regions.

They are limited to removing dry and weak growth. The formation of the crown is left for the spring. Agronomists advise not to cut the branches completely in the fall. It is better to leave the so-called protective links. These are small stumps 200-300 mm high. With the advent of heat, the procedure is completed, an accurate cut is performed at the desired angle. In late autumn, all non-fallen leaves and mummified fruits must be removed. These are the places where pests hibernate.

Pruning times vary for different types of fruit trees. It is believed that pome fruits wake up earlier, so processing begins with them. Apple, pear, etc. are traditionally cut first. A few days later, stone fruits are processed: apricot, cherry plum, plum, sweet cherry. This sequence is justified by varietal characteristics.

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There are several types of cutting. Let's briefly describe each.

  • Sanitary. Removal of damaged, drying or diseased twigs. It can be held all year round when needed.
  • Shaping. It is used to give a decorative shape to the plant. Often used on dwarf rootstocks, when unusual shapes are created with the help of multiple pruning and a special frame.
  • Regulating or supporting. It is used to limit the size of the crown and prevent its thickening, to thin out flowers and fruit ovaries. Retains the ability of the tree to bear fruit continuously.
  • Recovery. Used to reduce the height of an instance, recover from serious damage. And also for the rejuvenation of a tree or the formation of a fragment or the entire crown from top growth.
  • Rejuvenating. It is used to restore the possibility of fruiting and growth by shortening the branches in areas where there was an optimal growth for the year.

Other techniques are sometimes used. For example, kerbovka. This is the removal of a small fragment of the bark over a small annual branch or bud in order to stimulate their further growth. Pinching is used, it is also pinching. This is the removal of the upper part of the young growth. Sometimes, instead of removing the branches, they bend, giving them the desired position. Then, under the stretched rope, a rubber plate or board must be placed so as not to damage the bark.

In practice, for the formation and pruning of trees, combined methods are most often used. So, in a complex, sanitary, regulating and rejuvenating treatment is usually carried out. This is due to the fact that a fruiting specimen must be considered as a complex system where there is a balance between fruiting and growth. It must be supported, including competent pruning. Mistakes are very costly. An incorrect cut can cause disease, and sometimes death of the culture.

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An important point is the choice of tools. They must be of high quality and comfortable, given that they have a lot of work to do. So, the price of the product includes the price of the metal. Therefore, a quality tool cannot be cheap. Before buying, it is advisable to take it in your hand, raise and lower it, make several movements that imitate cutting. Well, if everything is convenient to do.

In addition, it is desirable that the product has bright plastic inserts. So the lopper will be easier to find in the grass in case of an accidental fall. A strong loop on the handle will not interfere. It is worn on the wrist. This prevents the fixture from falling when the user's fingers are accidentally released. We offer a list of the necessary tools.

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Garden saw

Differs from the construction analog in small teeth sharpened on both sides. This allows you to make an even, high-quality cut. In no case should you use ordinary saws, and even more so chainsaws for cutting branches. After them, torn sections may not overgrow for years. For the convenience of work, garden saws for pruning trees are available with telescopic handles or on rods. The angle of the tip is adjustable. It is convenient to work with such a tool from the ground, sawing off a section at a height.

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Device for removing fragments up to 300 mm in diameter. With good sharpening, it gives a smooth, even cut that quickly overgrows. There are many varieties of secateurs, gardeners often choose bypass or "anvil". The former have curved blades. They cut accurately, but you have to make an effort. The second with straight blades. You have to apply less effort to cut, but accuracy suffers a little.

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Garden knife

Cutter with sickle-shaped blade. It must always be sharpened very sharply, otherwise it will not work to clean or evenly cut the wood. Sometimes branches are cut with it, but it is better not to do this. Without proper skills, it is easy to spoil the cut and harm the plant.

Before the procedure, it is necessary to prepare something with which to treat the tree after pruning. The best option is garden pitch or similar compositions like RanNet, Zhivitsa. In some recommendations, you can find a technique for making such pastes with your own hands, but it is hardly worth spending time and effort on this. The composition is in any store.

Some gardeners prefer to cover the wounds with paint. It is possible, but only oil paints are chosen. They are made on the basis of drying oil. Those that are prepared in a solvent will not work. They will not help the wound heal, on the contrary, they will worsen the situation.

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In order for the fruit to be abundant and the fruits to develop normally, they need sunlight. The sun does not penetrate into the center of the thickened crown. Therefore, the branches do not bear fruit, die off, pests settle on them. Experienced craftsmen say that as a result of proper crowning, a sparrow should fly through the branches. This ensures sufficient lighting.

General pruning rules

  • There are no universal recipes. Each tree requires an individual approach.
  • Pruning is carried out regularly, because the plant reacts to it with rapid growth. To maintain a normal shape, you will have to cut every year.
  • Always start with a sanitary tenderloin. Perhaps this will be enough.
  • The branch is cut into a kidney, usually the outer one, or into a ring. It is impossible to cut in an arbitrarily chosen place. The treated area must be lubricated with garden pitch or its equivalent.
  • In one season, in total, no more than a quarter of all living branches are harvested. If you remove more, the tree or shrub will be greatly weakened, it will hurt for a long time, it may die.
  • It is better to remove a large branch than several small ones. The cut area is smaller, the wounds heal faster.
  • You cannot delete two adjacent large branches at the same time. One in this case is cut into a ring, the second is shortened. It is finally removed after one or two years.
  • Instrument disinfection is mandatory. Ideally, it is processed after each cut.

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We have listed the general processing rules. In addition, it is important to know which branches must be cut. Under no circumstances should you leave them.

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Which branches must be cut

  • Broken, withered, diseased. Bark beetles or woodworms can live on them, parasitic fungi develop. The most dangerous are tinder fungi.
  • Threatening the safety of people and their property.
  • The weakest of the two growing in the same direction.
  • Shoots growing below the grafting site. All root growth.
  • Growing downwards. That is, those that go at an obtuse angle from the trunk. This rule does not apply to weeping varieties.
  • Forming an acute angle with the barrel. These are potential fault sites. Moreover, the sharper the angle, the larger the fault will turn out from it. The largest ones do not drag on throughout life.
  • Rubbing or weaving. Continuous friction leads to the formation of small damage. In addition, the branches do not allow each other to develop and grow.
  • Inward-pointing crowns, loose and top. The latter can be formed into fruiting ones, but this will take months.

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It remains to figure out how to cut a tree correctly. There are only two of them. The first is shortening. Can be strong when left a third of the length. At this place, several powerful shoots subsequently form, diverging from each other at sharp angles. With a weak pruning, a third of the length is removed. There will be several new branches here. Strong shortening is used as a growth stimulant.

However, you need to know the characteristics of the variety. So, some varieties are prone to active branching. Such shortening is not recommended. If the variety is characterized by low bud awakening, while only the upper part branches, then shortening will help activate the branching process. The crown will be compact as a result. Carefully shorten the shoots in young specimens. If you overdo it, the tree will have to spend a lot of energy on recovery. This threatens to delay the onset of fruiting.

The second trick is to remove branches. It is used for thinning, when a certain number of shoots are removed. Outwardly, the changes are expressed in the fact that the crown becomes more airy, openwork. At the same time, its illumination improves, therefore generative buds are laid in a greater number. It is impossible to mindlessly clean up the growth.

There is a balance between the above and below ground parts of the plant. If it is broken, it will tend to return to the lost volumes. This means a rapid growth of green mass. But instead of fruit-bearing twigs, tops will appear. If no action is taken, in two or three years the thickening will be greater than before the removal of excess growth. Therefore, thinning out radically is not worth it. It is better to stretch this process for two or three seasons.

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We talked about the basics of fruit pruning. It is quite simple, but requires knowledge and skills. It is necessary to take into account the characteristics of different cultures. So, apple trees are pruned annually until they form the desired shape. But sweet cherries, cherries or pears are cut less often. For each garden tree, it is advisable to draw up a pruning schedule so as not to accidentally harm it.

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Prepared by

Inna Yasinovskaya

Country house Plants

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How to prune a tree so as not to harm it - 5 important rules

Pruning trees is a procedure that requires certain knowledge, because it is so easy to harm the plant. But if you follow the basic rules of pruning, problems can be avoided.

What is pruning for? Firstly, crown care affects the yield of the plant, and secondly, the tree looks neat and aesthetically pleasing. Thirdly, this procedure helps to get rid of diseased and damaged branches. In addition, only in this way can a crown be formed.

Pruning is important to do correctly, otherwise there is a high risk of damaging the tree. To prevent this from happening, always remember the 5 key rules to follow when pruning.

Rule 1. Choosing the right time for pruning

The best time to prune trees is in early spring or late autumn. During these periods, plants are subjected to the least stress. The risk of pests and fungal infections is also minimal.

The best time to prune is when the tree has completely shed its leaves. This means that the plant's growing season has ended and it "fell asleep".

If the branches are damaged? They should be cut off immediately, without waiting for a favorable time.

Have your pruning tools ready in the off-season so that you can perform the necessary procedures on time

Rule 2. Before cutting a branch, make a cut

When preparing to cut a branch, first make a cut on its underside. This is necessary so that it does not break too close to the trunk, if it suddenly cracks under the weight of its own weight.

The cut must be made in such a way that it does not affect the so-called rings - the bark at the base of the branches or in the places where they grow together.

Make a cut on the underside of the branch before cutting it off

Rule 3. Cut the branch some distance from the trunk

Stepping back a little from the first cut, made a few centimeters from the trunk, cut the branch completely. Removed material can be destroyed. A knot will remain in place of the former branch.

If the branches of the tree are thick enough, a saw may be needed

Rule 4: Cut the knot wisely

If it is necessary to shorten a branch, the cut can be made almost at the very ring of the branch. This will allow the tree to recover and recover faster. As in the case of a whole branch, you need to cut or file a knot from the bottom side to the top.

It is very important not to hit the ring when cutting the branch

Rule 5. Remember to take care of the tool

Wash and disinfect pruners and loppers after cutting each affected area: diseases are very easily transmitted through a dirty or contaminated tool. Disinfection should be carried out after the complete pruning of each tree.

Take good care of your tools

Tree pruning supplies

  • hand pruner,
  • lopper,
  • hand saw,
  • rod saw (for upper branches),
  • ladder.

Tips and Tricks

  • Small twigs are best cut with secateurs. For larger branches (about 2 cm in diameter), it is better to take a lopper. If the diameter of the branches reaches 4-7 cm, then a hand saw is already needed here.
  • To quickly and easily disinfect instruments between cuts, you can prepare a container of alcohol in advance. It should be large enough so that the tool can be dipped into it.
  • Pruning times for certain tree species may vary from region to region. Therefore, before proceeding with the procedure, it is recommended to find out exactly when it is better to prune a particular crop in your area.

What not to do