Pruning trees seem like an easy job however, there’s really an art to it, most especially when you want it to look best. Not only do tree surgeons cut down trees, they also have the skills and knowledge to make them grow and nourish.
Key Steps to Good Pruning
1. Make sure that all your tools or equipment are clean. Cleaning your equipment is certainly a must because it prevents the spread of harmful diseases. If you have used them on a diseased or damaged tree, this can also spread to the new ones, leading in total disaster. Clean your equipment with the use of a rubbing alcohol and rag before use, taking additional care if you know they’ve been used on any diseased trees. To make sure that the outcome is correct, consider contacting a Guildford tree surgeon.
2. Make your that your tools are well-maintained and sharp. Blunt equipment not only makes it tough to cut through tree branches but lead to rough cuts as well, that can result in insect damage or disease. Sharp tools, on the other hand, make simple clean cuts that will reduce the risks of problems in the future.
3. Do not worry about your tree pruning cuts. Having new cuts will not bring harm to the trees, so while some tree owners paint over cuts for aesthetic reasons, this is not needed, since it does not reduce or prevent decay.
Steps on How to Properly Do Tree Pruning
- Use the 1/3 and 1/4 Rule
Following this rule will prevent cutting back far, while also promoting abundant new growths.
Do not cut more than a quarter of the tree crown (the outer leaves and branches extending from the main stem or trunk). Ideally, the main side tree branches must be smaller by 1/3 than the trunk’s diameter. For most short-lived trees, you should not prune up from the tree’s bottom any greater than 1/3 of the total height of the tree.
- Try to encourage side tree branches which form a 10-2 angle with the trunk.
Inspect all of your trees starting from top to bottom. For most types, the trees must only have one main stem. Before you start tree pruning, determine first the best lateral branches (scaffold branch, the main supporting branch of the tree) and the best leader (central branch which grows upwards ahead).
- Get rid of any imperfect or deformed branches before you start tree pruning.
Begin pruning with a pole pruner on high branches. If the tree is over a particular height or specialized tool is required, it is highly advised to leave this task to the professionals since major tasks on huge trees must be done by licensed tree surgeons for your safety.
For bigger tree branches but outside the swollen area and branch bark, making sure you do not leave some swollen stubs. As a matter of fact, if the limb is too little to have formed a collar, you can cut it close.
- The cuts should be clean and sharp making a slight angle at least an inch over the bud.