At Jones Nursery, we’re committed to ensuring that your trees maintain the highest possible level of health. Learning how to prune trees properly will eliminate damaged aspects and stimulate healthy production.
We have established these seven tips for properly pruning trees.
Protect the Main Trunk
When pruning, you should always protect the main trunk so there isn’t any competition. If another branch starts to become the leader, remove it – especially if it is defective or crooked.
Remove Branches That Rub Against One Another
Branches that start to cross over one another or rub against each other should be removed. This will ensure you don’t end up with a knot of branches, and it will enhance the overall aesthetic.
Enhance the Natural Shape
Work to enhance the natural shape on a regular basis. This can be done by removing suckers and side shoots from the tree base using scissors or pruning shears. Any lower limbs should be removed so that you expose more of the trunk. Lightly prune upper limbs solely to enhance the natural shape.
Remove Damage in a Routine Manner
Monitor your tree on a monthly basis to remove damage as you see it. This includes dead, damaged, and diseased areas. If you start to see too much damage or disease, there may also be the necessity to treat the tree so that you don’t lose the entire thing to disease.
Follow Crown Reduction Pruning
Crown reduction pruning is a more effective method than topping and tipping. As such, if you don’t want to accidentally harm the tree, you’ll want to focus on crown reduction, which involves reducing the size/height of the tree’s crown.
Although crown reduction is commonly used when a tree has grown too large for its space, it can be used whenever you want to improve the natural appearance. It minimizes the stress on the tree.
Additionally, crown reduction pruning should never be used on a tree with a natural growth form that is pyramidal.
Learn How To Make Proper Cuts
You never want to get into the habit of making deep cuts in or around the trunk. This can actually wound the tree and cause more harm than good.
Instead, a proper cut happens when it’s just outside the ridge of the branch bark. Angle down so that the cut is away from the tree. Be sure not to injure the stem tissue. This will also allow the wound to seal itself in the shortest possible time. If you cut too far from the stem, branch tissue can die.
Prune at the Right Time
While pruning is a necessity, there’s a right time to prune depending on the type of tree that you have.
Conifers: Prune at any time of the year
Hardwood trees: Prune during the dormant season so that you can see the tree’s structure.
Flowering trees: Prune during the dormant season. You can also lightly prune once the flower crop has started so that you can ensure there are healthy flowering buds.