Want to know when and how to prune your trees?
We asked the Department of Agriculture for advice.
We know: How to Prune Trees
What is tree pruning?
Tree pruning means to cut away or remove dead or living parts of a tree, usually the branches.
What's the purpose of pruning a tree?
The more common reasons for pruning trees are to improve the health and shape of the tree, as well as cutting away potentially dangerous branches. Pruning can also stimulate fruit production and increase the value of timber.
What are the general natural shapes of trees?
Trees have many forms, but the most common types are shaped like a pyramid or a sphere. Trees with pyramid crowns, e.g., most conifers, have a strong central stem and lateral branches that are more or less horizontal and do not compete with the central stem for dominance. Trees with spherical crowns, e.g., most hardwoods, have many lateral branches that may compete for dominance.
What are the different approaches to pruning?
Proper pruning cuts are made at a node, the point at which one branch or twig attaches to another.
The most common types of pruning are:
When should I prune?
Different types of trees should be pruned at different times.
Tell me about pruning tools.
Hand pruners are used to prune small branches (under 2.5 cm diameter)
Slightly larger branches may be cut with small pruning saws (up to 10 cm) or lopping shears (up to 7 cm diameter) with larger cutting surfaces and greater leverage. For larger branches, use larger pruning saws.
Chain saws are preferred when pruning branches larger than about 10 cm.
Pole pruners must be used to cut branches beyond reach.