Do your trees look like they need a bit of attention? It may be time for some important tree pruning. Before you rush outside with the chainsaw, loppers, and secateurs, though, it is important to give some serious thought to how you are going to approach tree pruning. As a Tree Arborist in Ferntree Gully, we know a little something about this subject, which is why we have put together these top tips to help you in your pruning endeavours.
Think Carefully and Constantly Check Your Progress
We understand it can be very tempting to rush out and start hacking away at your trees. Before you start making cuts, however, you should take a good look at your trees and think about what you want to achieve through pruning. It’s also important to stop after each cut and assess your progress because once you make cuts, you can’t undo them.
Deal with Dead Branches First
The very first thing you should tackle when tree pruning is any dead branches. This one job will significantly improve the appearance and health of your tree.
Are There Branches That Are Too Close or Crossing/Rubbing Against One Another?
Once you have got rid of all the dead branches, look for any branches that are too close to one another. This reduces the airflow and light exposure of the tree and any branches rubbing against one another creates wet areas where fungi and disease are more likely to develop.
How to Cut
When pruning trees, you not only need to make the right cuts butuse the right pruning techniques. You need to make the cut close to either the bud, lateral branch, or main trunk. Ideally, you need to get close enough to the collar of the branch at the bottom and the bark ridge of the branch at the top, without causing damage to either.
When the Three-Cut Method is Needed
If there are any branches with diameters bigger than 3 to 4cm or you can’t use one hand to support, you need to use the three-cut technique. Start by cutting the branch on the underside 40cm from the trunk. Cut through to the point where the branch starts to sag, gripping at your saw, then make the second cut on the top side of the branch, this time at 45cm from the tree trunk. This will split the branch between those first two cuts, leaving you with an easy to prune stub with no trapped saw or bark tears.
About stubs – avoid creating these. A stub is a cut that’s too far from the collar and the ridge. With fewer hormones, the pruning wound will heal very slowly, if it does at all and it leaves an entryway for disease and insects.
Stop Suckers While You Can
When it comes to suckers, shoots, and water sprouts at the base of your trees, the earlier you deal with these, the better. These can steal important nutrients from your tree and can leave it looking ugly. It is easiest to remove these when they are young.
While we’re sure the above tips and suggestions will help you to prune back your trees successfully, we understand that DIY arborist work is not for everyone. Therefore, if you are nervous about doing the work yourself or do feel confident in your abilities, you could hire Dynamic Arborist for our Ferntree Gully based Tree Arborist services.