Saturday, December 29, 2012

How to prune tree branches

There's an art to pruning tree branches.  It is not as simple as getting out the pruners and hacking off branches.  Please don't do this!  

One of the most important things you can do is to understand where the trunk and the branch meet.  If you make the cut too close, you will cause wound to the trunk.  Reversely, if you make the cut too far out,  you will leave your tree with a dead stub.

You should make the cut using these three separate steps:
Step one: Undercut the branch at F, like shown in the diagram below.  F is just a short distance away from the trunk, so be careful when trimming. By cutting at the F spot, you will prevent the weight of the branch from tearing along the bottom and damaging trunk tissues.

Step two: Cut the major portion of the branch at G.  Se how close f and G are to  one another, so it is important to be a precise as possible.

Step three: Make the last cut from A to B.  This is the base of the branch tissue.

The swollen area where the branch and trunk meet is called the branch collar. It is easy to cause damage to the branch collar when cuts are not correctly, so please be careful.  Cuts that cause damage to the branch collar will result in differing formations around the pruning wound. Images CE2, CB3 ad AE4 are examples of a collar that has been damaged.  When properly done, a perfectly round doughnut of new wood tissue will form around the wound, as shown at the bottom of the picture marked with AB1. Examining the cut in the following seasons will show you how well you made the cut.  

If you don't want to tackle pruning your trees, talk to your local tree service.  When in doubt, leave it to the pros.  You've invested a lot of time and money in to your trees; keep them healthy.

Trees "R" Us, Inc. is a professional tree service in the Chicagoland area.  We service the north shore, north suburbs and northwest suburbs of Chicago.  Trees "R" Us, Inc. has 4 certified arborists on staff ready to assess your plants and tree care needs in a timely manner.  Our services include tree trimming, pruning, stump grinding, emergency tree services, tree removal, cabling and bracing, fertilization and plant health care.

Trees "R" Us, Inc. can be contacted at 847-913-9069 or through our online forms at

Thanks for reading,

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