How To Prune Trees And Shrubs

how to prune trees and shrubs

Pruning contributes greatly to the health and visual appeal of shrubs and trees. It pertains to the careful removal of unwanted parts of plants, such as their stems and branches. More than enhancing a tree’s shape and style, pruning also helps to manage the growth and structure of shrubs and trees, encourages their productivity, and prevents them from being a health hazard to your family and its surroundings. Although it might seem tricky, pruning is a skill that you can master over time. Learn from professionals or read articles dedicated to tree care. By knowing more about your plant species, the right tools you can use, and the proper techniques to apply, pruning could even turn into an enjoyable hobby. In this article, we will learn more about how to prune trees and shrubs properly.

How to Prune Trees

As a tree grows, it will require less and less pruning. Trees that are properly pruned while they are young will require little corrective pruning as they mature. Most established trees will only need pruning every 3-5 years. On the other hand, a younger tree will need it every 2-3 years, even once a year for some. Identify your tree pruning needs through thorough research or by asking a professional arborist. With the right resources and adequate know-how, you can start to trim trees yourself.

For thinning and shaping small tree branches and limbs, you can simply use hand tools such as pruning shears or loppers. Just remember to make cuts that will encourage new growth. Cut tree branches ¼ inch above a bud facing away from the plant. This is where you can expect new growth to sprout. Also, keeping cutting at a 45-degree angle will help prevent disease and water damage.

For cutting large limbs, you will need to apply the 3 part cut:

  1. The first cut will be underneath the branch, approximately 6 to 12 inches away from the trunk. Just go about one-third of the way.
  2. Then, make a second cut 3 inches away from the first cut towards the end of the branch. Expect the branch to fall while you are making the cut.
  3. Finally, cut back the remaining stub near the branch collar. Be careful not to cut the collar itself since this part will help your tree heal better.

How to Prune Shrubs

Pruning shrubs involves maintaining their natural shape by removing dead, damaged, crossing, and crowded branches. To do this, you will need loppers or hand pruners. Use the technique known as Heading Back for a more natural look.

  1. First, find the tallest main branch of your bush.
  2. Then, carefully follow this main branch until it reaches a lower side branch that points upwards.
  3. Just above the smaller branch, cut the main branch off. Repeat this process for all main branches.
  4. Evaluate the results from time to time until you get your desired shape. Keep in mind that in a few months, there will be new growth and your shrub will get higher.

You can use hand pruning tools for small branches and a hand saw for thicker ones. Remove the branches bit by bit, checking periodically to avoid accidents.

When Is the Best Time to Prune?

If there’s no reason to prune, best leave them alone. Each tree or shrub has its own growth characteristics and you should allow it to take its natural form. However, there are times when you will need to prune your tree or shrub right away. If you have the need to prune your tree, do it when they are dormant. Most experts do it between late winter and early spring. Be sure to follow the proper procedures to ensure that your tree will have new growth and stay healthy. Also, remember to give your tree time to heal before you prune again.

Hire A Professional Arborist

For the best results, enlist the services of a professional arborist. They have a broader knowledge and the necessary tools to successfully prune your tree or shrub. Also, some tree diseases may not be obvious to a novice at pruning. A tree care expert ensures that your tree will be healthier and more productive after the job is done. Moreover, they can remove hazardous parts of your tree and guarantee a safe and effective process to prevent any injuries and damages during the process.

When it comes to tree pruning and shaping shrubs, you can count on our professional arborists at Tall Timbers Tree Service. Our tree experts have years of experience to guarantee a quick, safe, and effective way of trimming your shrubs and trees. For more details and other tree services, call us today on 0414 627 627.