How to Trim and Prune Trees

Trimming a tree requires techniques so you are able to do it by yourself. It is necessary to know the basics about tree trimming if you are planning to take the work by yourself. There are a lot of techniques that will help you keep your trees in nice shape. With the right equipment, you can prune and trim the trees in your background so you are able to maintain their health and appearance. Trimming the trees will also reduce the risk of potential dead branches.

If you’re not comfortable hiring a tree removal service yet because the tree is not that large, there are many trimming and pruning jobs that you can do with your own hands. If you are just going to trim long stems and not big branches, then this job won’t be too hard for you. The best one to keep in mind is prune or trim the unwanted branch of the tree while protecting its trunk and stem. Stems and branches are separated by what we call a stem collar. A stem collar grows out from the stem at the branch’s base. All the trim cuts are recommended to be done on the branch side of this lip tissue, which is the stem collar. Doing this particular method will protect the stem and some other branches that grow from it.

To prevent tearing the stem wood and bark, especially of the larger branches, follow the following procedure:

  1. Decide what to prune.

Before pruning or trimming, you should decide first what to prune. Assess the tree first and spend some time looking at the tree so you can imagine what it looks like when you’re finished doing it. Identify the tree’s major branches. If you find these major branches, avoid pruning it. When you find the small branches that show signs of damage, prune it so the nutrients would be distributed to the healthier ones.

  1. Pruning to Minimize Damage 

Take out your pruning tools. Remember to prune during the dormant season like early winter or late fall so less stress would be put on the trees. Make a small wedge shaped cut on the stem’s collar’s branch underside. Doing this will prevent a tear because it will break the bark at the point of doing it. The tear that will run along the stem tissue and the bark will be prevented, thus the branch won’t crack too close to the trunk.

  1. Do the Cuts Carefully

Start at the branch’s top, going farther along the branch, cut through the branch that leaves a stud end. Make sure that you don’t cut the branch collar because it should be remained intact.

  1. The 3-Cut Technique 

To reduce the stub’s length, make a third parallel cut on the stem collar’s branch side. This procedure will also be used when you trim branches that are joined together in a ‘v’ crotch. This cut is known as a drop crotch cut. The first cut should be the branch’s underside. The second cut should be made through branch from the crotches’ inside. Finally, to successfully shorten the stub, make the last cut to the branch bark ridges’ one side and parallel to it. This cut technique is best to do if you are trimming or pruning a long stem.

  1. Clean the Pruning Equipment 

It’ probably not very important to clean your pruning tool if you have avoided cutting through the infected parts of trees, but it’s still disinfect your tool with any household cleaner you have, like rubbing alcohol. Dip the blades with a cloth impregnated with disinfectant. Diseases have the possibility of spreading through trees too especially if you use the same tool you used while pruning an infected tree. So, if you might find it unnecessary, just imagine that you are performing a surgery and the tools are not cleaned, what happens to the next person you’re about to use it into.

To successfully carry out the task, make sure that you have done the following thing:

  1. Before pruning or trimming, first look for the branch collar. It can be found at the branch’s bottom base because it grows from the stem tissue. Then, look for the branch ridge. It can be found at the upper surface parallel to the stem’s branch angle.
  1. Cut outside the bark ridge, stay the cut away from the stem and make sure you don’t injure the branch collar.
  1. Use the same method trim and prune both living and dead branches.
  1. If the stem is long, you can apply the 3-cut technique which is mentioned above.


This post brought to you by the professional southeastern tree removal system

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