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Tree Pruning 101

Do you have some trees that need to be pruned or are you unsure if they should be pruned? Well, that's what we are here for, to boost your confidence, increase your knowledge, and learn about the objective of tree pruning!

The purpose of pruning is to promote better growth, stronger, healthy and attractive plants.

Three main reasons for pruning

  1. Safety: remove branches that could fall or cause damage.

  2. Aesthetics: keeping the natural form of the tree.

  3. Health: improving the overall health of the tree.

Types of pruning

  1. Crown thinning: removing branches to increase light and air movement in the center of the tree.

  2. Crown raising: taking off branches to bring up the canopy (crown) of the tree to provide clearance underneath the tree. Making room for vehicles, signs, buildings, etc.

  3. Crown reduction: a method used when a tree has become too large for its space. A better long-term solution is to fully remove the tree and replace it with something more suitable.

Pruning cuts

A cut should be made as close to the stem as possible, being careful not to damage the branch tissue and only removing the stem tissue.

When pruning with hand pruners make sure they are sharp enough to cut the branches clean. If pruning with a hand saw, support the branch with your other hand. If the branch is too large to be supported, use the three-step method to prevent the bark from ripping.

The three-step method

  1. The first cut is a small notch on the underside of the branch collar, just to the side of where you want to make your cut.

  2. The second cut is to the outside of the first cut going all the way through the branch leaving just a stub left.

  3. The stub is then cut just outside the stem.

Prune dead branches the same as you would a live branch.

Drop crotch cut

Begins above the branch bark ridge and goes through the stem parallel to the branch bark ridge. Normally the branch is too big to be supported so the three-step method is ideal.

  1. With the first cut, make a notch on the side of the stem away from the branch to be kept, above the branch crotch.

  2. Start the second cut inside the branch crotch, staying above the branch crotch, and cut through the stem above the crotch.

  3. Cut the remaining stub through the stem parallel to the bark.

Hopefully this information about tree pruning is useful for you and helps you in your gardening days ahead.

Think Gardening!


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