Pruning is the most important thing to improve the condition of your trees. It’s a way of increasing their structural strength by removing dead, damaged and diseased branches. Pruning can also make your trees to look neat and organized. Actually, pruning is the ideal way to make a new growth possible to your trees. When doing it, you need to be very carefully so that you won’t mess up the whole process.
In this post, I would like to share some important pruning tips and techniques that will help you in the process. They will help you prune your trees like a pro.
Importance of pruning : What’s the reasons of pruning the tree?
Pruning is the best way to shape your tree into your desired shape. If you’d like your tree to have a more rounded and a neat looking shape, you should prune a few branches that seem to stick out at odd angles. Just a few cuts will make a big difference.
Furthermore, trees can be pruned to remove damaged branches. Whether they were damaged by a storm or any other event, broken branches should be pruned. This will help a lot for water and nutrients to be distributed to the entire plants, hence healthy and growth of a tree is improved.
In addition, pruning is a great way to remove branches that are crossed to each other. In order for trees to grow healthy, they need good air circulation through and around the branches. Branches that are close together foster the growth of fungus and attract more insects. When pruning branches, you’ll be allowing air to circulate and light to reach all parts of the plant.
What to do before pruning
Before you prune your tree, you should firstly ask yourself the following questions:
- What do you want to achieve after pruning your tree?
- Is it for aesthetics?
- Is it for its health?
- Is it for safety?
These questions will influence your time to prune it. If you have greater goals, you’ll should plan your pruning around the seasons.
Pruning during the winter will result in an explosion of growth in spring. On the other hand, pruning during the summer will slow the cut branch. So it’s a good idea if you’re trying to shape your tree or slow the growth of branches that you don’t want. However, dead or hazardous branches can be removed at any time.
Check your tree before pruning
Spend some time on visually inspecting the whole tree before pruning it. Carefully look at its size, shape and its branches. This will help you to identify its major branches, and avoid removal of those branches. You should prune the weak ones, the V-shaped and those with narrow angles. Also check for the damaged or infected branches and remove them also. Can you picture how it should look after you are done? You’ll be glad you did it.
Simple tips to follow on the process
- Best time to prune your tree: Pruning a tree is best to do it during late fall or early winter. In this time, insects and fungus are not that active and this will reduce the chances of your tree from being infected. It’s a preferable time to prune after the leaves have fallen off the tree, however if a branch breaks because of any reason just prune it immediately. And in this case, you should not wait for winter.
- Remove branches that are disturbing the surroundings: Some are not necessary in such that they cause disturbance in your yard. So you should remove any of branches that are blocking walk ways. On the other hand, some branches can be a danger to electricity wires. Again in some windy days, there is that irritating sound of branches scraping on the roof. You should also cut off those branches that are hanging into your house or your neighbour’s. Never leave branches that cause any sort of inconvenience.
- Do not prune more than required :Every cut threatens the tree’s protection system. That means it becomes vulnerable to potential fungus and insect infestation. So you should always remember the ¼ rule and not cut off more than 25% of the tree’s branches. Whereas with most deciduous trees, you have to make sure the living branches are at least 2/3 of the tree. Make sure the tree doesn’t have to depend only on its trunk to survive.
- Limitation of pruning: Pruning once per season is highly advised. And after pruning , just give your trees some time to recover.
- Cutting on the underside of the branch: You have to be careful with the initial cut. Make sure it doesn’t go all the way through the branch. The branch carries a lot of weight when it is ready to fall. But you don’t want it to crack too close to the trunk of your tree. There is a small lip of the bark that a branch protrudes from. It’s called the stem collar. That’s where your cut should be made, leaving the collar intact.
- Make sure your next cut is a bit further from the trunk: Your second cut has to leave a stub. Things to do with your second cut is to saw the branch into a bit further from the trunk. Then you remove the branch from that area.
- Remove the stub: Now you’ve managed to cut right against the collar, don’t forget to give it your tree a chance to heal in the best way it can. Also make sure that the branch collar remains intact and do not cut it off.
Clean up your pruning tools.
After doing a great job of pruning, make sure to clean your pruning tools. Cleaning your tools is the way of helping your tools to not rust. Those sticky wood particles and juices that have been produced and while you where busy pruning are the main things that cause damage your tools. When cleaning your tools, use any household cleaner that will completely remove the anything.