There is nothing better than a beautiful tree blooming in your yard, with all its lush foliage. However, when you start seeing dead and damaged branches, you want to get rid of them right away to enhance its shape and improve its health. You might even have thought of trimming it yourself, but you lack the knowledge and tools. Pruning is an effective horticultural practice to enhance the overall appearance and health of a tree. It takes more than just cutting branches here and there, so if you want to learn more about proper pruning and trimming, keep reading, and we will tell you more about it in this post.
When to Start Pruning
It is highly recommended to start pruning a tree early in its life to train for better structure. Trees that have not been pruned early in their lives may require more maintenance. When pruning a tree, get rid of dead, diseased, and broken branches. Use the following tips on pruning:
· Prune your tree to enhance its shape.
· Eliminate crossing branches as well as those that grow towards the center.
· Raise the crown by cutting away the lower branches of a maturing tree. You should also eliminate branches located too near the main trunk.
How to Prune Large Branches
It's relatively easy to prune small branches, but this may not be the case for large ones. Don't get too intimidated by large branches because with proper knowledge you can do it on your own. Use the following techniques to help you prune large branches:
· Do not damage the bark- Start cutting on the underside of the branch. Make the cut about 18 inches from the trunk. Make the second cut farther from the branch. Continue cutting to free the branch.
· Locate the branch collar- The branch collar is located at the base of the trunk. Determine where the branch collar before the final cut. Make sure not to harm it to allow for the wound to heal on its own effectively.
· Cut down and through the branch- Your third cut should free the branch. Make sure not to tear the bark on the underside.
· Think carefully about wound dressing- If you ask professional tree companies, they may tell you that wound dressings are not entirely necessary for pruning cuts. If you think it would help your tree, you can use latex paint to make it safe from pests and diseases.
Pruning Tools You Will Need
It is essential to have the correct tools when pruning. Using the wrong tools is a sure-fire way to get yourself hurt and may damage the health of your tree. You should use the following appropriate tools for pruning:
· Pruning shears- One of the essential tools for pruning is a good pair of pruning shear which can cut up to ¾ inches in diameter.
· Lopping shears- For greater leverage, you can use lopping shears that can cut up to 1 ½ inch in diameter.
· Hedge shears- Hedge shears are used for pruning hedges, and they can also be useful for cutting small stems.
· Hand saws- Specific types of hand saws can cut up to four inches in diameter.
· Pole saws- This can be useful in reaching high branches because of its long handle, but can be very challenging to use.