Growth Rings

Three tips for pruning

Posted on March 9, 2012 at 8:42 am
Pruning Tips

Pruning terms (Brighton West)

By Brighton West

On my bike ride to work, I saw that this tree had been pruned over the weekend.

This is pruning season for most trees, so the pruner chose the proper time of the year to prune.

But a little knowledge and the same amount of effort would lead to a happy, healthy tree.

1) Stub cuts. When pruning, the branch should be pruned back to the branch collar–nearly at the trunk.

2) Two leaders. This person pruned a lot of the tree but didn’t remove the double leader. When you have two trunks, they just compete with each other and if left to grow, they’ll just grow into each other until one breaks off. And it’s gonna be big when that finally happens.

3) Tearing off bark. Using the three-cut method when pruning large limbs will stop the bark from tearing off below the cut. The bark is the living tissue and protects the wood inside from rotting. It’s important that it remain on the tree.

Keep watching our blog for pruning tips so you can keep your tree healthy. Or hire an ISA certified arborist, like these who support Friends of Trees.

–West is Program Director for Friends of Trees.

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5 Responses to “Three tips for pruning”

  1. I just received a new tree last spring from friends of trees and want to know if I can prune it now or is it too new. Lots of little branches without much shape so thought I would shape it if right time. Thanks for any info you can give me.

  2. Nice Post Brighton!

  3. This is an example of a tree (Maple?) that, even though youthful, has become dramatically outsized for its location. Rather than an ineffectual pruning this tree needs to be removed and perhaps replaced with a viable plant of appropriate size and scale.

  4. Pat – we recommend letting the tree settle in for 2-3 years before the first pruning. Feel free to remove broken branches, but there’s energy stored in the branches that your tree needs to establish itself.

  5. I’m not sure I agree Fred. I think it’s about 10 feet from the house on the west side (the closest distance we recommend to separate a tree from a structure.) Give it a proper pruning and I think it will provide some great shade from the afternoon sun come summer.

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