PO Box 88, Manistee, Mi 49660

231-723-6996 or 231-845-2500 jamesscarlata@hotmail.com

Proper Pruning Cuts

Prunning Cuts

Each cut has the potential to change the growth of the tree. You must always have a purpose in mind when making a cut. Proper technique is critical as improperly placed cuts can cause long lasting damage. Trees do not heal in the same way as people, rather a wounded tree walls off the damaged area and grows new tissue over it, but the damage remains in the tree. Small cuts do less damage than larger ones so the time to start pruning a tree is when it is young, before large cuts are necessary.

  • Placement of the cut is important to how well it heals.
  • Cutting too deep damages trunk tissue and could lead to the spread of decay in the trunk.
  • Leaving too much branch as a stub gives fungi and bacteria a place to colonize, and the tree can not
    close the wound until it grows out over the stub.
Diagram Provided By: Dr. Ed Gilman of Environmental Horticulture, University of Flordia
Diagram Provided By: Dr. Ed Gilman of Environmental Horticulture, University of Florida

Where is the best place to make the cut… Look for a ridge or swollen area at the base of the branch, this is called the branch bark ridge and branch collar. Cuts should be made just outside of the branch collar and branch bark ridge, leaving the collar and ridge in place on the trunk as shown in the diagram. The swollen area of the branch collar is actually trunk tissue, avoid damaging it.

Keep pruning tools sharp and clean. It is not normally necessary to cover the pruning cut with anything, let it air dry. Wound dressings seal in moisture and can increase decay.

At this time, we do not offer full pruning and tree removal services, however, if you are in need of pruning or tree removal, we recommend Isaac at Canfield Climbing Clippers.

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