Pruning Your Trees: Part Three

Thank you for continuing with our article on how to prune your tree. Here in the Tri-Cities, we have a lot of need for pruning trees and tree maintenance. Let’s continue:

When researching how much to prune a tree, as little as possible is often the best rule of thumb. Pruning place stress on a tree and increase its vulnerability to disease. Never should you prune more than 25% of the crown and ensure that living branches compose at least 66% of the height of the tree.

By pruning too much, you can fatally damage your tree. In some cases, storm damage, height reduction to avoid crowding utility lines or even raising the crown to meet municipal bylaws, your choices are made for you. But even in these instances, prune as little as you can get away with.

If you’ve decided to do the pruning yourself, here is some advice on knowledge and tools. Advice regarding tools is pretty simple. Buy the best tools you can afford and keep them in good condition. Lately, a number of new and innovative tools have come on the market that are extremely useful to a homeowner.

  • Rope Saws – A new and safe way to cut high tree limbs – pull the ropes to prune while standing on the ground.
  • Pole Pruner & Lopper – A versatile pole pruner that can be attached to any standard-thread extension pole. Includes 14-inch pruning saw blade and 1-inch lopper.
  • Folding Pruner – A versatile, folding pruning saw that can be attached to any universal extension pole for long reach. Lightweight and robust.
  • Portable Buck Saws – Extremely lightweight and collapsible. Perfect for the homeowner, gardener and camper.

After each tree you prune, remember to disinfect your pruning tools in a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water followed by cleaning with soapy water and then drying. Tree diseases are easily spread by infected tools. Finally, if you’re not skilled in the use of tools like chain saws or if the pruning job is more than you’re capable of managing, hire an expert. Safety first.

Remember, if you are unsure about any pruning or tree maintenance, we are your best resource for tree pruning in the Tri-Cities. It doesn’t matter if you’re in Kennewick, Pasco, Richland, or West Richland, we can answer any questions you have.

Pruning Your Trees: Part Two

Thank you for continuing with our article on how to prune your tree. Here in the Tri-Cities, we have a lot of need for pruning trees and tree maintenance. Let’s continue:

There are three steps to pruning large branches.

  • Make a small wedge shaped cut on the underside of the branch just on the branch side of the stem collar. This will break the bark at that point and prevent a tear from running along the bark and stem tissue.
  • A little further along the branch, starting towards the top of the branch, cut all the way through the branch leaving a stub end.
  • Lastly, make a third cut parallel to and just on the branch side of the of the stem collar to reduce the length of the stub as much as possible.

A procedure similar to this is used in pruning one of two branches (or one large branch and a stem) joined together in a ‘U’ or ‘V’ notch. Make the first notch cut on the underside of the branch you’re pruning well up from the crotch. For the next cut, cut completely through the branch from inside the notch up from the ridge of bark joining the two branches. Finally, in order to shorten the stub that is remaining, make the third cut just to one side of the branch bark ridge and roughly parallel to it.

The dormant season, late fall or winter, is the best time to prune although dead branches can and should be removed at any time. Pruning during the dormant period minimizes sap loss and subsequent stress to the tree. It also minimizes the risk of fungus infection or insect infestation as both fungi and insects are likely to be in dormancy at the same time as the tree. Finally, in the case of deciduous trees, pruning when the leaves are off will give you a better idea of how your pruning will affect the shape of the tree.

In the next section, we will discuss the steps necessary in pruning your trees

Continue to Part 3 of Why To Prune Your Tree Here

Pruning Your Trees: Part One

There are many reasons to prune a tree here in the Tri-Cities. Sometimes the wind comes whipping through and causes a little havoc and destruction. Other times, it’s just due to the trees age or condition.

Here is a summary of the top reasons to trim a tree:

  • to eliminate diseased or branches with storm
  • to thin out the crown of the tree to promote new growth
  • to make the tree shorter and improve views
  • to eliminate lower branches that are obstructions
  • to make shapes out of the tree for aesthetics

Now that you’ve decided to prune your tree, the next thought should be if you’re going to do the job yourself or hire a professional tree trimmer. If you are dealing with a larger tree and need to remove large branches, especially near the crown of the tree, hiring Top Tree LLC is probably your best best. Pruning large trees, in particular, will require climbing and heavy saws or even cherry-pickers and chain saws. This is a job that should be left to trained and experienced professionals. Never compromise personal safety in pruning a tree.

Large trees aside, there are pruning jobs that you can do on your own. In all cases, the best practice is to prune the unwanted branch while protecting the stem or trunk wood of the tree. Protecting the stem and trunk of the tree is absolutely imperative. Tree branches grow from stems at nodes and pruning always takes place on the branch side of a stem-branch node.

Branches and stems are separated by a lip of tissue called a stem collar which grows out from the stem at the base of the branch. All cuts should be made on the branch side of this stem collar.

This protects the stem and the other branches that might be growing from it. It also allows the tree and/or branches to heal better after pruning. You will need to not tear the bark and stem wood, especially in the case of larger branches. You should use the following procedure:

In the next section, we will discuss the steps necessary in pruning your trees

Continue to Part 2 of Why To Prune Your Tree Here

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