Spring is just around the corner, and it’s time to prune trees
Updated: Sep 22
Spring is just around the corner, and it’s time to prune trees! Even as snow is blowing around, it is time to look forward to spring and prune your shade trees. When trees are properly pruned it promotes tree health, improves the appearance of trees, and protects people and property by removing hazardous branches. Trees are dormant and sap is currently in the root systems. Pruning while the trees are dormant helps trees callus over wounds more quickly by taking advantage of early spring growth. Pruning is an important part of tree maintenance, pruning done incorrectly can cause permanent damage, possibly shortening the life span of your trees. Here are a few pruning tips before making any cuts:
Small cuts are less damaging than large cuts. Pruning young trees to develop a desirable form and structure can save the tree from large, complicated cuts in the future.
Wait to prune young trees until they are established—generally two to three years after planting.
Avoid removing more than 25% of the crown, especially on mature trees.
Make pruning cuts just past the branch collar, which is a zone of specialized cells around the base of a branch. These cells divide rapidly to form wound wood over pruning cuts. Cutting flush with the trunk damages and removes these specialized cells, impairing wound closure.
Hand pruners are ideal for small branches. Cuts larger than half inch in diameter can be cut with lopping shears or pruning saws.
Wear protective gear and use safe practices when cutting larger branches. Never use a chain saw to reach above your shoulders or when on a ladder.