An 8-Part Beginner's Guide To Pruning A Tree In Your Garden

Teresa Jefferson By Teresa Jefferson | Author

 ways to prune trees

Step-By-Step Guide To Pruning Your Trees

Pruning a tree is not an easy task at times. It is a tricky part of the gardening process that most homeowners prefer to avoid. Whether you plan to trim a smaller tree or an overgrown tree in your backyard, the pruning process doesn't have to be intimidating when you know the right techniques.

Learning to prune a tree is a necessary process that will help improve the overall look and health of your backyard. A tree will show off its bark and flowers quite prominently when pruned. That is why pruning is such an important process that every gardener should learn. Here is a guide to pruning a tree in your garden.

 ways to prune trees

1When Should You Prune A Tree?

The right timing is crucial when trimming or pruning a tree; otherwise, there is a higher risk of damaging the tree. There are many tips that you should consider when finding the right time to prune a tree. Avoid pruning your trees when they have leafed out in spring. They aren't strong enough for pruning under such circumstances. You should plan to prune these types of trees during the summertime.

If you want to shape the tree, it is best to trim it when the leaves have already fallen off. That way, you will be able to see the branches better. You should avoid major pruning projects from January to late February since this is maple sugar time, and the trees won't respond well to the job. When you want to prune a tree for clearance purposes, you need to wait until the branches of the tree are sagging at their lowest. That way, you will have a better idea of what sort of result you would get.

 ways to prune trees

2How Should You Prune A Tree?

There are different approaches to pruning that work best for different trees. The right technique may depend on the size of the tree. It also depends on how far overgrown it is.

You need a pole saw. This can reach thicker branches and higher heights. You would also need some small handheld pruning shears for the job.

 best time to prune trees

3Accessing The Tree

First, take a few minutes to look at the overall look of the particular tree. You should identify the weaker or dead branches, the thicker ones, and those that shouldn't be removed. You should look at the skeleton of the tree.

Find the thickest branches. These shouldn't be cut while pruning the tree. Mark them and leave them alone while doing the job.

 when and how to prune trees

4Checking The Branches

The damaged or dead branches are the first ones that need to be cut off from the tree. A branch that's damaged due to a storm or wind takes in nutrients from the tree. Also, take a look at the branches that are crossing over since these branches can stop the others from breathing.

You should remove the crossing branches to promote air circulation. It will help give more life to the rest of the tree. When a tree gets enough air, it is less prone to attracting diseases and fungi. Hence, this is essential for more than just aesthetics. You should also eliminate the branches that grow inward and clutter the look of the tree.

 when and how to prune trees

5Remove The Obstructions

Look at where the branches grow. Remove the ones that might cause an obstruction. Some branches may hang over powerlines.

These will rub against your roof. You should trim these branches. They can cause obstructions or potential hazards.

 when and how to prune trees

6Shaping The Tree

A tree could be pruned into any shape the gardener wishes. In case you don't have a pre-defined form in mind, you should try for a round or rectangular shape. You don't have to cut a lot of branches for such a project.

Cutting a few branches might give the desired impact. Once you have cut a few branches, stand back and take a look at the shape of the tree. This will ensure that it's going the way you want it.

7Keeping The Pruning To A Minimum

Don't do too many cuts at a time when pruning a tree. If you cut too many branches at a time, it can cause stress to the tree. Make sure that you do not prune more than 25% of the tree at any given time.

It will do more damage to the tree than good. Keep the pruning efforts down to just once every season, unless you are forced to prune a tree due to storms or bad weather. You should also be careful of exactly where you prune the tree.

 ways to prune trees

8The Sensible Pruning

If you aren't careful, trees become extremely sensitive to pruning. They will react poorly to pruning under such circumstances. Focus on the branches that desperately need pruning and don't prune too much.

Make sure that you are protected while pruning the tree. Make sure that you are clear of any obstructions and powerlines when using pole saws or any other power tools. Wear all the safety gear to keep yourself protected during the entire process.

how to prune trees

Pruning is essential for all gardens and backyards. Pruning will enhance the appearance of your garden. It does not matter whether you only have one tree or a few.

The right technique is vital for a successful pruning. Pruning is a skill that could be easily developed by any gardener. But one should have the right attitude and techniques.

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