How you prune a tree can affect its health and your wallet.

3 Steps

This is the one of the most important things to know.

To prune or not to prune that is the question? Prune I say, but prune properly or don’t prune at all. Pruned the very best way, there are pruning methods for all size trees. In all cases, the objective is to prune the unwanted branches. The way the branch is pruned protects the remaining branches from dieing or trunk of the tree from forming a cavity. That is what you need to know.  Most tree services kill the ends of your branches if not the whole limb simply by the way they choose to prune the tree branch itself.
Click on link for more details.

United States Department of Agriculture and the National Forest Service.


How not to Pruning a tree to DEATH

Click on this and learn more.  The basics of spotting hazards.

I will show you how some people do it themselves. Here is a guy not following ISA Standards for tree pruning.

If this looks like your husband then give him this number 770-479-9611 .

Now back to proper tree trimming.

Branches and stems have a collar separating them. This tissue is sometimes referred to as the branch collar or stem collar which grows out from the stem at the base of the branch. This is one of the most important things to remember because the effects of poor pruning can rot a hole in the tree. All pruning cuts should be made on the branch side of this collar. The collar tissue protects the stem and the other branches that might be growing from it. This is were the healing cells are located. It also allows the tree to callus more effectively after the pruning.  I would like to show you the proper way to make your pruning cuts.  These methods “for the most part” apply to all types of woody plants. Since you don’t want to tear off the bark and stem wood, which is likely to happen when punning larger branches, use the following method:

1. Make a small cut on the underside of the branch I recommend about 1/3 of the branch in depth just on the branch side of the collar. This will prevent a tear from running along the bark and stem. 2. Reach out farther on the branch, (Optional; I like to make another small cut below the 2) and then starting at the top of the branch, cut all the way through the branch. There will be a small piece left. 3. Finally, make a third cut parallel to and just on the branch side of the of the stem collar this is the most common point where people make pruning mistakes.

What do you do when you have a codominant or “V” shaped branch formation. Again the idea is to prevent a tear from happening when you remove one section. A similar is method is used when pruning one of two branches, this could also be one large branch and a stem joined together in a ‘u’ or ‘v’ shape. Some professionals refer to this as a drop crotch cut.

  1. Make the first notch cut on the underside of the branch you’re pruning well up from the “V” or “U”. Believe it or not we even call it a “Y” sometimes.  It makes me want to say my ABC’s.
  2. For the next cut, cut all of the way through the branch.  Start from inside higher up from place joining the two branches.
  3. The last step is to shorten the remaining stub. Make the third cut just to one side of the branch bark ridge. (The branch bark ridge looks like a crease in the bark  or a ridge) and as close to parallel to it. If the cut would be flat on the top then cut it so the water naturally runs off like a roof. Don’t cut it like a flat top.