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Large Branch Pruning

March 01, 2010

Many branches are small enough to prune with just one cut of hand pruners. But pruning much thicker tree branches is a bit more complicated to do properly, as there are several steps involved.

Large branch pruning requires three different cuts to avoid the heavy weight of the falling branch from pulling and tearing off extra bark as it falls,leaving a rigged wound that will not heal properly. When pruning, you always want to end up with a nice straight and smooth wound so the tree can heal more quickly and complete, which will help the tree to beless vulnerable to pathogens and pests that could injure or eventually kill the tree.

To do this properly, the first cut should be made several inches away from the base of the branch and started on the underside and cut upwards about half-way through.

Make the second cut just an inch or two up from the first cut, moving farther away from the trunk, staring on the top of the branch and cutting downward through the branch. Continue cutting through here until the main branch breaks free. The undercut should have stopped any bark from being stripped and pulled away when the branch became detached and fell.

The final cut you can make all the way through, removing the stub that is left. Be sure to cut just beyond the branch collar, which is the slightly swollen area around the base of the branch so the final wound can heal more effectively and causeless tissue decay.

Actually now, inlate winter, just before a tree breaks dormancy, is a great time to prune several tree species. Some tree and shrub species are better to prunelater in spring after they bloom, those include: Lilac, Magnolia, Forsythia, Azalea, Rhododendron, Plum.

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