How to Correctly Prune a Tree


As leaves start to fall from the trees each autumn, branches which were formerly shrouded in a canopy of dense foliage, decide to reveal themselves once again. To be honest and given the choice, many good people would prefer not to have to deal with the ensuing mess; while there are others out there who enjoy this time of the year, because of the opportunity to examine each tree canopy. One important observation you may like to make is to make a note of any branches that may need to be removed.

To Prune and Not to Ruin

  • Limbs of trees can be pruned for any number of the following reasons; 
  • They are diseased or dead
  • They are inward growing or in competition with other branches and one has to go
  • They are crossing or rubbing another limb and damaging it
  • To raise or open the canopy, for providing more vertical clearance or to allow more light to reach the ground
As with most operations, there is a right and wrong way to do the job. If cut correctly, trees will quickly recover, if cut wrongly, it can create chaos.

Steps, 1, 2 & 3

The Professionals Would Suggest Using a Three Step Approach to Cut Tree Limbs

  • Step One - Make the first cut about 30 to 60 centimetres away from the tree trunk. This cut starts on the underside of the limb and goes into it, but only about a third of the way. Take note that this is a very important step in the operation.
  • Step two - Make the second cut away from the tree and the first cut, another 30- 60 centimetres. This time cut all the way through the branch. The branch should break away as you saw through the limb, and because you’ve already made the first cut on the underside and closer in, the bark will not continue to rip down into the tree trunk. (If you had not made the first cut, the branch would have broken away with the weight of the limb. This would have included the attached and uncut bark going with it, and tearing that from the tree as well. That would create a big potential problem, producing a large open wound with the possibility of allowing an entry point for pests and disease. Definitely a no-no for anybody contemplating tree lopping.)
  • Step Three - The third and final cut is right where the branch meets the trunk. Look for the flared area and make the final cut so that the flare is still there afterwards. If cut in the correct way, this flare will heal over and after a while will fill in with new bark and scar tissue. You’ll know when the tree is healing because you will notice what looks like a doughnut shape forming where you made the cut. Should you be lucky enough to be living in W. Australia, Perth Arbor Services are tree surgeons in Perth who will get the job done in the most professional way. Be sure to check them out. 
And there you go. Not that difficult is it? Just be careful if you’re up a ladder, and make sure the only limbs being affected are the trees, and not your own! Remember - make sure to prune, and not to ruin!
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