When pruning your trees, there are steps you can follow to ensure you are making the proper cuts and not removing too much off your tree. When learning how to prune a tree, there are few steps that you need to make. A properly pruned tree is a healthy disease free tree. When it comes time for tree removal give us a call at 470-217-7517.

pruning trees

Assess the tree

Before you trim the tree, make it a point to assess the overall health of your tree. You

  • How is the tree growing?
  • Is it healthy?
  • What is the setting?
  • Does human activity dictate a desired form for the tree?
  • What species is it?
  • What is its natural form?
  • Is it a ‘shade’ tree or ‘ornamental’ tree?

Making a proper assessment of the overall health of the tree, this will dictate how you prune your growing tree.

Remove Bad Branches

Start with the three ‘Ds’ – dead, damaged, and diseased.

Next, look for branches that are rubbing, or those weakly attached.

Look at the tree, and the pile of branches removed so far, if you haven’t reached any of the limits in the ‘five factors,’ continue.

Remove or Reduce Competing Branchestrees need pruning

Now we want to address any competing branches:

  • Co-dominant stems: it’s best to keep this cut as small as possible, so complete removal is usually best.
  • Competing laterals: these are branches that have a shoot headed upward at the same height as the leader.

Next, focus on areas where multiple branches connect to the trunk at the same place. This shows that you nee to develop better branch spacing by removing one of the multiple branches each year, starting with the largest one first and then working your way down.

Next, consider clearance: these temporary branches in the lower third of tree height improve trunk strength, but may need to be shortened.

When You’ve Finished Pruning Your Tree

Finally, consider crossing (not rubbing) branches or chances to improve vertical branch spacing. Every pruning cut is a new chance to observe the tree in light of the “five factors”. At that point, feel free to stop pruning the tree. Relax. But remember, no matter what eventually tree trimming needs to be done, because if you ever wonder why is tree trimming is important don’t prune your tree, and you’ll find out .