It's important to prune any trees that you might have on your property in order to keep them within the bounds of your property and to make sure that the branches are not overextending their weight limit. However, it is very easy to over-prune a tree and accidentally harm it. Here are some tips for pruning your tree in order to reduce the chances that you accidentally hurt it.
1. Look for Dying or Swollen Branches
You want to make sure that your tree has only healthy branches on it so that the majority of the nutrients it gets from water and photosynthesis can go towards holding up healthy branches, rather than dead branches. Look for branches that are discolored or those that you can remove the bark from and have it not be green underneath. These branches are dead or dying. Also look for branches that seem unnaturally swollen. This is another sign of a branch that is not healthy.
2. Prune at a Slight Angle
Next, you are going to want to make sure that you cut each of the branches that you find that are sick or dying at a slight angle that is less than 45 degrees. This will allow you to cut the branches without leaving any sharp edges or leaving too much material that could result in the branch growing back in the exact same form. Try to cut close to a bud that is on the branch that is growing in the direction in which you would like a new branch. This will allow you to control the general shape of the tree that is growing but will also allow new branches to form in a healthy manner. If you cut close to the bud but not so that you injure the bud, you will be able to influence the shape of the tree.
3. Don't Remove Too Much
Finally, do whatever you can to not remove more than a quarter of the crown of a tree, which is made up of the outer branches, within the course of one season. This will allow the tree to have all of the branches and therefore leaves that it needs to generate enough energy from the same. If you should remove too much of the crown, you will risk harming the tree. It is better to err on the side of caution if you are not sure if a certain cut is going to remove too much.
For more information, talk to a company that specializes in tree services, such as B. Haney & Sons.