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How to prune a tree


1st Jan 2015 Home & Garden

How to prune a tree

Larger trees will need a qualified tree surgeon, but for pruning smaller trees we have some tips on how and where exactly to prune the branches.


A gardener’s advice:

1. If you look closely at the place where one tree branch joins a larger one, including the trunk, you will see a wrinkled raised collar of bark. Strive to make pruning cuts just outside this collar, without cutting into it. This is because the collar contains chemicals that the tree uses to wall off the injury (your pruning cut), making it naturally impervious to invasion by pests and diseases.

2. If the branch is a large one, begin by cutting it off about 15 cm (6 in) from the branch collar. To keep the weight of the limb from binding the saw blade, first make a small cut on the underside of the branch. Then cut off the limb starting from the top edge of the branch, about 2 cm (1 in) beyond the cut on the branch underside.

3. Remove the stub by making a single downward cut just outside the branch collar. Thinning removes up to a third of the oldest shrub branches to promote colourful new growth.