Steps for Tree Pruning From Planting to Maturity
Whether you are pruning, trimming, or cutting your trees, this is an ongoing process that
occurs annually and will carry on for the life of the tree. After you have
planted your new trees early pruning is the most important thing you will do
for your young trees.
Pruning correctly will save you money and leave you with a healthier more beautiful tree that’s
easy to maintain. What you do to your tree in the first couple of years of life
will affect its strength, shape, and life span.
Tree Pruning – At Planting
Leave as much of the leaf surface as you can, so that it can manufacture food to build a
larger root system. After just one year the roots will be much larger if left
unpruned. However, you should prune broken branches, swollen branches from
insects/stings, tree tags, and branches that are competing with the leader. You
can also trim close to the trunk
Tree Pruning – Trees 3-4 Years
By this stager root growth should be relatively well anchored and be expanding in size, which is needed in order to nourish the growing branches.
- Remove codominant leader.
- Cut off any sprouts in the crown and root suckers.
- Thin excessive branches competing for light, water, and other nutrients.\
- Eliminate any branches that are rubbing or growing in an undesirable direction.
- Remove a few of the lowest limbs but leave the rest for now to help the trunk develop more strength and taper.
- Remove narrow angled branches.
Tree Pruning – Trees 5+ Years
- Prune the lower limbs to raise the bottom of the crown well out of the way of human heads. The lowest limbs are now the tree’s permanent limbs.
- Cut back a few of the branches that are higher up so they don’t protrude beyond the outline of the tree’s crown.
- Inspect tree to see if any branches need to be removed for spacing.
- With proper pruning at your trees from the beginning you reduce the risks and
- increase its ability to survive storms and damage.