Tree Pruning Techniques
Why should I prune?
Pruning properly can make trees more attractive and healthier and increase their productivity. Poorly or unpruned trees can pose a safety risk to people and property.
Pruning can be both an art and a science. Bonsai and topiary are examples of plant art that require special pruning techniques. Even these unique plant forms can be pruned using the same scientific principles. This publication will give you the information to properly prune your plants. This knowledge will allow you to create a more artistic style of pruning based on your own preferences and experiences.
Orchard pruning is different from landscape tree pruning. An orchard's purpose is to increase fruit production and maximize economic return. Pruning trees for landscape purposes is done to preserve the tree's natural form, health, and longevity. It also helps to reduce potential hazards from unrestricted branch growth and improper pruning. Sometimes, it is necessary to prune a tree to reduce its size. However, this often means that the tree was not right for the landscape. To minimize the damage to property or injury caused by poor branch attachment, size-reduction pruning in landscape trees is recommended.
What do I look for?
If a branch meets the following criteria, you can prune it.
- Dead, dying, or severely ill branches
- At the trunk's base, sprouts form
- Branch growth towards or across the tree’s center
- Crossed limbs may rub together in the future or rub in the past
- Crotches with V-shaped shapes
- Multiple leaders are upright branches that compete with secondary trunks and may develop into additional trunks.
- Neighborly growth (interfering in power lines, sidewalks and buildings, traffic or visibility, etc.
When do I prune?
Pruning deciduous trees during the dormant period is possible after leaves have fallen in November or October, but it's best to prune them from January to March. You should finish pruning in spring before the color of the leaves and flowers emerges. Many of a tree's nutrients and carbohydrates are stored in its roots and wood during the winter. This means that fewer of the resources necessary for growth and overall health can be lost if a limb is taken away. Once leaves are formed, food reserves in the leaves are now more susceptible to being lost by pruning. The flow of sap from wounds is reduced by pruning in the dormant season, which also decreases the risk of disease and insects.
Pruning evergreen trees late in the dormant seasons, just before new growth starts, is a good idea. You can use light pruning to gather greens for holidays, but not too much.
For spring-flowering trees that carry preformed flower buds throughout the winter, summer pruning is often recommended. This helps reduce the chance of losing flowers that are still in the buds. Summer pruning can be done on other trees. However, it is best to limit summer pruning to the removal of deadwood and new branches not exceeding your thumb's thickness.
Pruning young trees is better than corrective pruning large trees. Pruning young trees removes fewer branches, which reduces food reserves and causes smaller wounds that heal faster.
Do You Need a Professional?
A professional tree care specialist may be needed. While most tree pruning can be done by homeowners, it can be dangerous to prune heavy, large limbs from mature trees with sharp tools. Call a professional if power lines, heights, or valuable property are located below the tree. The power company should prune any tree, branches, equipment, or people that may be in direct contact with power lines. Make sure they use proper pruning techniques.
Verify that professional arborists are licensed, bonded, and insured. Some arborists might also be certified by a professional organization, such as the International Society of Arborists. ISA-certified arborists have taken exams to prove their knowledge about proper tree care practices. They also attend updates training every year. These arborists can help you avoid personal injury and property damage, and ensure that your trees are not damaged by incorrect pruning. Ask the arborist any questions and request references from previous pruning jobs. New Mexico has many arborists who are certified by the ISA. You may find contact information in your phone book.
What tools do I need?
You may need to prune branches of different sizes.
- Hand shear
- Lopper shears
- A pruning saw
- A chainsaw
- Safety goggles, hard hat
Where do I cut?
Good pruning starts with the cut. Always cut back to the point of a branch, twig, or bud. This will ensure that the tree grows in the desired direction. This encourages healthy, controlled new growth. Don't cut if you are unsure whether to take out a branch. It can always be cut again later, but it cannot be put back.
A "collar" is placed between each branch and the trunk at the point where they originate from the trunk. The branch collar is made up of vascular tissue from the trunk and branch. You can damage the tree trunk's natural protection mechanisms by cutting into the trunk tissue. Cut your pruning beyond the collar of the branch, leaving no stub.
Tree Trimming Pros St Lucie
Port St. Lucie, FL
(772) 268 9770