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How To Prune A Tree

Posted on May 20th, 2016

How To Prune A Tree


Regardless of the size of your tree in Arlington TX, the important part of pruning it to work on unwanted branches as you protect the trunk or stem. Tree branches grow from the stems and when you prune, you should always do it from the branch side of a stem-branch node. You’ll notice that stems and branches are separated by a stem collar, which is a lip of tissue growing out from the stem around the branch’s base. All cuts made when pruning should be made on the branch side of this specific stem collar. Doing this, protects the stem and all other ancillary branches growing out of it. It also lets the tree heal quicker after your pruning is completed. You also want to prevent tearing the bark and wood on the stem of your tree by using the following method:

  1. Create a small cut that is wedge-shaped on the underside of the branch. Be sure the cut is made on the branch-side of the tree’s stem collar. This will create a break in the bark but prevent any tearing along it or down the delicate stem tissue.
  1. Farther down the branch, beginning at the top, cut completely through it, leaving a stub.
  1. Make a third cut that is parallel to the branch and just on the side of the stem collar. Doing this will reduce the length of the stub.

If you’re pruning one of two branches (or a branch and a stem) that are joined in a “u” or “v” crotch. The technical term for this is a drop-crotch cut. For this procedure, you want to make the first cut on the underside of the branch you are working on well up from the u- or v-crotch. For your second cut, go through the entire branch from the crotch well, up from the bark’s ridge that joins the two branches you’re working on. To shorten the stub, make your third cut just next to one side of the bark ridge and almost parallel to it.

Sealing the wound?

Trees in Arlington TX are able to seal their own wounds when it comes to pruning. Also, since most pruning is done in late colder weather in Arlington TX, insect issues should be minimal. There are going to be some times, however, when you need to seal a wound by using a pruning sealer that is non-asphalt based. Trees in Arlington TX such as elm, birch and oak should be sealed after pruning due to harmful insects. Also, if you are pruning in a particularly dry time, a sealer can help the tree retain its moisture.

When should you prune?

Most trees in Arlington TX can handle pruning in late fall or winter because this is their dormant season. Remember though that dead branches should always be removed any time of year. If you keep scheduled pruning though to the fall or winter, this minimizes the risk of infection, insects and fungus. With regards to deciduous trees in Arlington TX, pruning when leaves are gone will allow you to see how the size and shape of the tree is affected. Flowering and fruiting trees should be pruned at other times. These depend on whether they flower on previous years’ growth or not. Make sure to fertilize a tree after pruning also to help close wounds and reduce the tree’s post-pruning stress.

How much should you prune?

Prune as little as possible is the general rule of thumb to remember. All pruning is stressful for a tree and increases the chances of insect infestation and disease. You should remember to never prune any more than 25% of your tree’s crown to ensure that living branches make up a minimum of two-thirds of the overall tree’s height. Sometimes heights on trees in Arlington TX are made by municipal laws or storm damage both can change the height of your trees. Even in these cases though, always prune as little as possible.

What pruning tools should you use?

Tools to use for pruning are relatively straight-forward. Always buy the best tools you can afford though and be sure to keep them in good working condition. There are always new tools that can considerably decrease your efforts when it comes to pruning your trees in Arlington TX.


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