What are the two steps of tree pruning work?

Remove sick, broken, or dead branches. If two members are crossed, entangled, or otherwise competing, remove one of them.

What are the two steps of tree pruning work?

Remove sick, broken, or dead branches. If two members are crossed, entangled, or otherwise competing, remove one of them. Make a cut at the top of the branch now. This cut should be about six inches away from the notch.

Keep cutting until the branch starts to break. It should fit your initial cut and fall off cleanly. The next step in pruning is to make the necessary training cuts. By cutting the side branches, the tree or shrub is trained to develop the desired shape, to fill an open area caused by storm or wind damage, or to keep it within limits that fit a given area.

To properly train a plant, one must understand its natural growth habit. Always avoid destroying the natural form or growth habit when pruning, unless you keep a close eye on the plant, since after a period of time it tries to adopt the most natural growth habit. The importance of this pruning concept lies in the development of bushy, well-shaped trees through light pruning and the often desired stimulating effect of heavy cuts. Pruning a tree can improve its appearance, prevent pests and diseases, and help the tree grow strong and healthy.

Proper pruning enhances the beauty of almost any tree and shrub in the landscape, while improper pruning can ruin or greatly reduce your landscape potential. If the tree can be saved, remove all broken parts and damaged branches; then smooth and paint the exposed wood. The first pruning after buying trees and shrubs involves removing broken, crossed and pest-infested branches. Prune branches crossed or branches that grow toward the center of a sapling and cut the lower branches of the trunk as the tree grows to raise the crown.

The height of the lowest branch can range from a few inches above the ground to protect or break the wind, to more than 7 feet above the ground near a street or patio. The concept in training a tree called a “garbage trunk” refers to this gradual elevation of the lowest branches of a tree. In oak trees in areas of Texas where oak wilt disease is prevalent, a wound dressing should be used to help prevent the bark beetle from spreading the disease across the tree's pruned surface. The expert pruner first removes all dead, broken, sick or problematic limbs by cutting them at the point of origin or returning them to a strong branch or lateral shoot.

Manual pruners are useful for removing some lost branches and are essential if you want a casual look. With the knowledge of the plant's ability to compartment any wound, filling tree cavities is not recommended. Make sure the cut you're making is at a 45-degree angle so that water doesn't build up in the tree's open wound, preventing the wound from healing properly. Injured tree tissue is never repaired and is returned to its previous condition, such as a cut in a person's hand.

The home gardener should limit the pruning of mature trees to the smallest branches that can be reached from the ground. Trees generally require less pruning than other ornamental plants in the landscape, but sometimes they may need corrective pruning to maintain health and stamina.

Megan Castellani
Megan Castellani

Lifelong tv practitioner. General beer enthusiast. Professional coffee advocate. Infuriatingly humble gamer. Devoted pop culture lover.

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