How to Trim Trees

Опубликовал Admin
8-04-2021, 08:20
Trimming trees in the winter helps keep them healthy and allows you to shape them the way that you want. When pruning larger branches, it's important you follow the proper technique so that you don't damage the tree. Pruning or trimming is critical to the health of both newly planted and fully mature trees. Following the proper guidelines will ensure that you don't hurt the tree during the pruning process.

Pruning Adult Trees

  1. Wear safety goggles, helmet, and purchase a step ladder. Safety goggles and a helmet or hard hat will protect your head and eyes as you prune adult trees. You may also need a small step ladder to reach higher branches. However, if the branch is located high in the air and requires an extension ladder, consult a professional instead of trying to do it yourself.
    • Purchase this equipment online or at a hardware store.
  2. Trim off suckers growing at the base of the trunk. Cutting lower hanging branches will allow clearance for walkways and lawns and will prevent the main stem from having to compete for nutrients with the suckers. This will also raise the crown, or top, of the tree.
    • The lowest hanging branch should be around 40% of the tree’s height.
    • Most fully grown trees should have around 8 feet (240 cm) of clearance under it.
  3. Remove dead or diseased branches. Curtailing disease in branches will prevent it from spreading to the rest of the tree. Look for branches that look dead or weak and use a saw to cut them away.
    • You can prune dead or diseased branches during any time of the year without affecting the health of the tree.
    • You should also remove any branches that have been damaged by the weather or animals.
  4. Cut away unwanted or hazardous branches. Branches that hang too low or are growing in the direction of a structure should be removed. Trimming these branches before they become a hazard is easier than doing it later.
    • Contact a professional if the branches are located over power lines.
  5. Trim overlapping branches that rub together. Cut branches that are growing vertically or inward, towards the main stem of the tree. These branches can rub together and damage the tree over time.
  6. Prune the tree in the winter to shape it. Trees grow the most during the spring and pruning them during a high growth period could be detrimental to their health. Avoid trimming the tree in the spring or summer and prune it in the winter instead.
    • For example, orange trees start flowering during the spring. Thus, you can trim them in February or March to contain their growth.
    • Remove about 1/3 of of the tree when you trim.

Cutting Away Large Branches

  1. Cut a 2–3 inches (5.1–7.6 cm) notch into the bottom of the branch. Measure 2–3 feet (0.61–0.91 m) from the leader, or the main vertical stem of the tree, then place your hand or pruning saw against the underside of the branch. Move the saw back and forth to cut a notch 1/3rd through the underside of the branch you want to cut.
    • Cutting a notch in the branch will protect the bark from breaking apart.
    • If you’re cutting smaller branches you don’t have to cut a notch and you can use hand pruners.
  2. Cut through the branch 6 inches (15 cm) from the notch. This relief cut will prevent the branch from breaking and splintering when you make your final cut. Measure 6 inches (15 cm) down from the notch and use a saw to cut off the end of the branch. After making your relief cut, your branch should be a nub with a notch cut into it.
    • Make sure that the area under the branch is clear of people and objects.
  3. Cut the branch off the leader. Find the branch collar, which is area of the branch where the rough bark turns into smooth bark. This should be a couple of inches away from the leader. Keep the branch collar intact when you trim so that the tree heals fully. Use your handsaw to cut off the remaining portion of the branch.
    • Don’t cut the branch too close to the leader or it won’t heal properly.
  4. Don’t prune more than 10%-15% of the foliage per season. Over-pruning the tree could weaken it. Whether it’s a young or mature tree, avoid cutting away a lot of the branches at once. If you want to cut down a tree significantly, you’ll need to spread the pruning out over several seasons.

Trimming Young Trees

  1. Cut lower hanging branches after transplanting a tree. When transplanting a young tree, use a pair of hand pruners to snip away smaller lower hanging branches. Pruning young trees helps the root system take hold and promotes growth of their crown, or the top of the tree.
  2. Cut branches that are growing vertically or towards the leader. Use hand pruners and snip any smaller branches growing inward towards the leader. These branches rub against the tree as they grow and will damage it over time.
    • Branches growing towards the leader don’t get enough sunlight to stay healthy.
  3. Snip away branches that are growing too close to each other. For young trees, it’s best if their branches are spaced 8–12 inches (20–30 cm) apart from each other. Over-pruning can damage the tree, so make sure that you leave at least 2/3rds of the branches each time you prune it.
  4. Prune the tree to shape it but don't cut the leader. Pruning outgrowing branches should start as soon as you plant the tree. This will keep it aesthetically pleasing and promotes healthy growth.
    • Cutting the leader when the tree is young will inhibit the tree’s growth.
    • Pruning trees when they are young is much easier than pruning adult trees.

Things You’ll Need

Pruning Adult Trees

  • Safety goggles
  • Hard hat or helmet
  • Hand saw or pruning saw
  • Step ladder (optional)

Cutting Large Branches

  • Safety goggles
  • Hard hat or helmet
  • Hand saw or pruning saw
  • Step ladder (optional)

Pruning Young Trees

  • Hand pruners
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