Knowing how to make a proper pruning cut will help you care for your trees.
To prune a limb with a hand saw, first make an undercut about 12 inches from the branch attachment. Cut about 1/3 the way through the limb. Make a top cut a bit further out on the limb. Apply some light pressure as you make the second cut and the branch should pop right off. Next, make a final cut just outside the branch collar. A tree’s natural wound compartmentalization will heal a good pruning cut more quickly and completely.
Here’s the step by step process demonstrated on a maple tree. The limb was removed to prevent further damage from crossed branches that were rubbing.
So, why not just skip to the final step? Cutting a limb near the branch collar with all the weight still attached can cause a long strip of bark to peel down the trunk, damaging the tree.
Check out this article from the U.S. Forest service to learn more.
The three-cut pruning method has many applications. We will discuss some of them soon. Future topics include improving the structure of your small trees so they’re more likely to be problem-free as they grow. Also, I’ve noticed lots of old apple tree as I’ve traveled around Maine, so renovating declining fruit trees will be discussed soon too.
Keep checking back for updates, and let us know if there is a tree care topic you’d like to know more about. We value feedback!
Thanks for reading,-Cam Gould Gould and Son Tree Service