How to Prune Young Trees – Part 1
It is essential that you properly prune developing trees so
that they have a strong structure along with a desirable form. Trees that get
the correct pruning measures when they are young will need less corrective
pruning as mature trees.
Simple principles to follow before you prune your trees:
- Always make sure you have a purpose in mind before you actually make the cut. Every cut you make has the potential to change the tree’s growth so make sure you think about those cuts before you make them.
- Remember that poor pruning will cause damage to your tree and that will last for the lifetime of your tree. So learn how and where to make the correct cuts before you ever pick up pruning tools.
- Small cuts will cause far less damage than large cuts. Correct any issues when your trees are young as this reduces the need for more drastic pruning later on.
Making Your Cut
The location of the pruning cut is crucial to your tree’s
growth and the closure of the wound. Make pruning cuts outside the branch
collar. This will avoid damage to the tree’s trunk. Improper prune cuts can
cause permanent internal decay. If you need to shorten a large branch prune the
branch back to the secondary branch or a bud. The cuts you make between the
buds/branches can lead to sprout production, misdirected growth, and stem
Pruning Tools you Need
You can cut the smaller branches with hand pruners. Cuts
that are more than ½” diameter should be done with lopping shears or a pruning
saw. You can use hedge shears to shape hedges but never use them to prune a
tree. Make sure that you choose the correct tool for the job at hand.