Basics, Tools and Tips for Tree Pruning

If you have trees anywhere on your property, one of the key bits of maintenance that needs to be performed on them from time to time is pruning. Pruning, which takes place for a great number of plants and nature items through both natural and man-made processes, keeps both the tree and the property safe and comfortable.

At Reliable Tree Care, our arborists are here to help with branch structure pruning and numerous other tree trimming and care areas. Whether you’re utilizing our professional services or supplementing with a bit of your own pruning, here are some basics on the process – why it’s necessary, some tools that might be used, and how to approach certain kinds of trees.

basics tools tips tree pruning

Why Prune?

Simply put, pruning the tree is necessary for health – not only of the tree itself, but of the rest of your property as well. A tree in the wild will naturally shed certain limbs or branches, and they will decompose on the ground. But you don’t want this for your landscape, so you have to act sooner.

In addition, pruning protects your entire family and keeps them safe. Tree branches that are uncontrolled may impact everything from falling risks to electrical power lines, presenting particular danger if you have children who play nearby.

Wound Care

Another purpose of pruning in many cases is wound care. Trees can be “cut” just like humans, and in some cases, covering larger cuts can help prevent diseases from spreading through various nesting insects. Pruning paint for these larger cuts is vital in these situations, particularly for oak trees (these are often attacked in their cuts by bark beetles).

Tools Used

Here are some of the tools that might be used for pruning:

  • Pruning shears: Hand-held cutters found in both scissor and anvil action formats.
  • Lopping shears: Longer handled shears that come in scissor action formats, used for cutting thicker branches and those that are a bit tougher to reach.
  • Pruning saw: A pole-mounted saw that does well with larger, higher-up sections of the tree.
  • Hedge shears: For smaller branches or other areas, there are both manual and power-operated hedge shears available.

If you’re doing some home pruning on any of your trees, be sure to maintain the quality of your equipment. Keep all tools sharp and clean so they avoid rust, plus disinfect all cutters after cutting any diseased limbs – this is to prevent disease from spreading to healthy tree areas.

Evergreen Vs. Deciduous

How you prune will vary depending on whether you have evergreen or deciduous trees. Some basics:

  • Deciduous trees are pruned from the bottom up, usually featuring less than a third of the total tree height.
  • Evergreens should be pruned in early spring for healthier growth.
  • During winter when plant tissue is frozen, do not prune deciduous trees. Prune them only in late winter, which encourages growth in spring and summer.
  • Never prune evergreen trees to the inactive center.

For more on pruning trees, or to learn about any of our tree trimming or removal services, speak to the staff at Reliable Tree Care today.