Tree Pruning for Healthy Trees

As it grows cooler and trees go dormant, we begin to consider what winter pruning might need to be done.  

Why Prune?

Pruning is important to your tree’s health.   Tree growers prune every year so their trees have a nice structure with high forks and open branch angles. Pruning keeps your trees looking great and growing at an optimum rate.   It is used to shape a tree.   It is used to keep some trees to a size that the homeowner want.   It is used to remove diseased or decaying branches. 

You can see the nice open structure here

What to Remove?

To keep your trees healthy, look for these branches to remove:

  • Limbs that are dead, broken, or crossing each other
  • Limbs that bend inward
  • Competing or co-dominant main stems
  • Large, sharp v-shaped branches
  • Root suckers
tree pruning
I love this diagram of do’s and don’ts!

How to Prune:

Follow these basic guidelines as you prune:

  • Do not leave branch stubs
  • Keep low branches short
  • Make cuts just outside the  branch collar

If done incorrectly, pruning a large limb can endanger both your trees health and the health of the pruner.  Follow these basic steps to safely prune large limbs:

  1. Make the first cut on the bottom of the branch 1 – 2 feet from the branch collar.
  2. Make the second cut on the top of the branch until it reaches the first cut.
  3. Once the limb falls off, cut the remaining stub just outside the branch collar.

When to Use a Certified Arborist:

If you are a homeowner trimming your trees, please consider the danger that can be involved in removing large limbs – especially if they are high in the tree.   You probably have the equipment needed to trim trees that are 5-10 years old –  loppers, a hand saw, a ladder.   If you need to use a chain saw to trim your trees, you should call a certified arborist.    They have both the training and equipment (safety chaps, lift trucks, etc) necessary for the job.

To find a certified arborist in your area, go to the the ISA (International Society of Arborculture) website, Trees Are Good.

For continued information on healthy trees and palms, follow us on social media (Facebook or Instagram) and subscribe to our blog right here!

Mary Beth

Leave a Comment