Don't Prune Your Tree Without Following These Tips

29 June 2021
 Categories: , Blog


Do you have a tree that is a bit overgrown and needs some pruning? You definitely don't want to hack away at it haphazardly, because it could result in you actually damaging or killing the tree. Here are some tips you should follow when pruning a tree on your own.

Use The Right Saw

The first mistake that people make when pruning a tree is using the wrong type of saw. They may use a bow saw that is designed for cutting firewood, or a hand saw made for cutting lumber. You actually want to use a pruning saw to get the job done. What a pruning saw can do that other saws cannot is that it is small enough to allow you to get into small places. The blade is also incredibly sharp, which makes it easier to prune branches of a tree. 

Remove The Weight Of The Branch

A key to pruning a tree is making sure to gradually remove the weight of the branch so you do not damage the tree. What happens with inexperienced people is that they will trim right where they want to make the cut, but it causes the weight of the branch to pull downward and rip the branch off the tree. This is going to cause big problems with how the tree heals, and potentially cause lifelong damage to the tree. 

Use The Three Cut Method

The three cut method is going to allow you to remove large tree branches without damaging the tree. This is done by making your first cut on the underside of the branch about a foot away from the trunk, going halfway through the branch you want to remove. If the weight of the branch does come down and rip it off the tree, that cut will help the branch break off away from the trunk.

Your second cut should go slightly outward from the first cut, with the goal to cut through the branch completely. If you do end up having the branch fall down under its own weight, it is going to stop at the first cut that you made to protect the tree. 

The third cut will be closer to the trunk of the tree. You will want to make this cut away from the branch collar, since this is where the new growth will start on the tree. If you damage the collar, the tree is not going to fully heal where you removed the branch. You can tell where the collar ends and the branch begins by looking at where the branch starts to swell and forms into the trunk of the tree. It's always easier to have an extra part of the branch to trim off and trim closer with additional cuts.

Before you begin your tree pruning project, use the above tips and do it the correct way.