Pruning Trees – How to Properly Prune a Tree


Proper tree pruning will create a more natural and safe shape to your trees. In general, you should prune lower branches every couple of years to give them safe clearance. If they are rubbing the trunk or cause any unsightly problems, they should be removed. To avoid breaking out, try to prune branches that have a wide branching angle instead of narrow branches. The reason for this is that wide branching angles break out less easily than narrow ones. Also, beware of “included bark.” This type of bark becomes embedded in the union between the trunk and the branch.

Reducing error pruning

Pruning a tree is difficult, but there are methods for reducing error. One such technique involves comparing upper limits of confidence intervals of error on all child leaves in a sample. The lower the upper limit of the error rate, the better. The results of this experiment show that the smallest tree pruning yields the lowest error.

Generally, pruning procedures start at the root of the tree and work outward. The first step in pruning is to determine whether each node is relevant to the tree’s structure. Nodes that are not relevant are pruned or discarded. In this way, you don’t end up dropping an entire sub-tree. In addition, you won’t lose relevant sub-trees. There are two types of pruning procedures: reduced-error pruning (REP) and minimum-error pruning (MEP).

Thinning cuts

When pruning a tree, thinning cuts are important. These cuts are made above growth buds and remove part of the branch without damaging the lateral branch collar. This allows the cut to be reduced without mechanical shearing or topping the branch. A thinning cut removes a portion of a branch from where it meets another branch or trunk, leaving the side branch as the new leader.

Pruning is a necessary part of plant maintenance. Proper pruning techniques are essential for plant health and can even increase bud and flower production. Trees need thinning to promote good airflow, reduce dead wood, and eliminate problematic stems.

Heading cuts

Cutting a tree’s branch at the branch’s point is called a “heading cut” and it should be done with extreme caution. The reason for this is that a pruning cut at this point will trigger the growth of small branches around the wound that are not attached to the tree well and will not grow in the normal direction. It is also aesthetically unappealing and can cause an unstable branch stub.

A heading cut, which is opposite to a thinning cut, stimulates shoot growth in 1-year-old wood. It causes vigorous shoots at the top of the stem three to four buds below the cut. The shoots often form narrow angles. However, heading cuts should not be made regularly on large branches.

Drop crotching

Drop crotching during tree pruning involves cutting the branches at an angle similar to the angle of the branch’s bark ridge. The heel of the cut should be 30 degrees lower than the branch’s juncture with the side branches. This procedure will preserve as much of the natural shape of the tree as possible. When done incorrectly, it can lead to structural weak points in the tree.

Drop crotching is a technique for reducing the size of a large tree by cutting back a main branch to a lateral branch. Cutting back this way avoids tearing the bark along the main trunk. In some cases, this technique may require several cuts.