Pruning Deciduous Trees

Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated June 27, 2022)

For those who have never done it before, and for those who have only done it every once in a while, pruning deciduous trees can be a little tricky. The reason for this is that most people have a tendency to think that pruning is nothing more than loping off the parts of a tree that they don't want any more. The truth is that more thought should be put into the pruning process, or you can end up causing untold amounts of damage to your trees. Luckily, all you really need to do is follow these guidelines.

  • Why are you doing it? All pruning of deciduous trees should really be done for a reason, and one that is carefully thought out before you even make the first cut. Is the tree ill, are you preventing a problem from spreading, or is it for some other reason? While pruning your tree for training purposes is alright, you really should limit the cutting to those situations when your tree will really need it.
  • Choose the best time. While there are situations when it is alright for you to prune your tree year round, there really are only a few times a year when you should do any pruning. These times are typically going to be during the late winter, or early spring. This way your tree will have the maximum amount of time to heal from the trauma inflicted upon it. While pruning may be necessary, it is still traumatic to your trees. If done at the other times of the year you can end up causing your tree to die if you aren't careful.
  • Use the proper tools. When you begin pruning, you need to make sure that you have the right tools. Generally speaking, there are only three tools that you will need, though there are several others that you can use to help make the task as easy as possible. The four tools that you need are things like hand pruners, long handled loppers, and hand pruning saws. Make sure that you have these tools, and that they are all in good working condition before you start using them.
  • How to prune properly. There are all kinds of cuts that you can make when you are pruning, but what you really need to understand is how to prune properly. What this means is that you need to know the proper way to cut. These cuts need to be smooth and even, avoiding any and all ragged tears if possible. Further more, you should only cut just above a healthy bud, and with a slight slant to help promote the collection of water necessary for healthy growth.

Keep in mind that these are only the most basic of guidelines for pruning deciduous trees. Once you have mastered these, you can then begin branching out and trying a few of the more esoteric and advanced techniques. Just be sure that you are practicing your more advanced stuff on something that you don't mind getting rid of if it goes badly.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


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