Tree Pruning Tips

Pruning your trees is essential to developing a tree with strong structure and desirable form. Here are several methods on pruning trees.

  1. Start with acquiring pruning shears or a pruning saw for larger limbs. These tools are necessary to do the job correctly and with the greatest ease.
  2. Remove structurally weak and dead limbs first. Pruning off limbs that appear dead or limbs with leaves that look distressed is a must-do for the optimum health of your tree.
  3. Make pruning cuts just outside the branch collar and nearly, but not completely, flush to the trunk. This pruning technique provides viable growing branch bark that will improve the wound closure appearance.
  4. Leave most functional limbs on newly planted trees. Pruning for look and form shouldn’t start until the second or third year of the tree’s life.
  5. Prune forked codominant trunks to one dominant trunk. Pruning forked trunks reduces multiple problems including poor form, excessive pruning, and health problems.
  6. Prune all permanent branches up to a desirable first branch height (i.e., 8 feet at maturity). Remember that urban and yard trees need to have a raised base for access as well as yard work.
  7. After several years of a maturing tree, prune the branches trying to space 12 to 18 inches apart. Do not do this pruning the first few years, but wait for a period of time where the tree is growing rapidly.
  8. Always think of the biology of a growing tree when you are pruning. If a permanent branch is to be shortened subsequently, prune it back to a lateral branch or bud where an immediate growth response will be initiated. This limits dead wood that increases the possibility of disease in your tree. If you do this, your tree will stay healthy for a longer period of time.
  9. Sealing a wound with a dressing after pruning does not help in the healing process. Do not seal pruning cuts with wound dressing unless it is for cosmetic purposes.

A good rule of thumb for vertical spacing of your permanent branches is to prune it back to a distance equal to 3% of the tree’s eventual height.

Trees that are used to screen an unsightly view or provide a wind break may be allowed to branch low to the ground. Most large and growing trees in the landscape must eventually be pruned to allow clearance of the head.

The goal in training young trees is pruning in order to establish a strong trunk with a sturdy, well-spaced branch span.

Doing each of these things will help ensure that your trees look as beautiful as possible, for as long as possible. Trees are tricky things to take care of all the time, so if you have any questions, be sure to talk to our professional landscapers in Las Vegas. We have all the tricks, tips, and tools necessary to keep your trees looking amazing throughout their lifespan. If you do this, you will love your trees for years to come!

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