When Is It Time for Tree Removal?

Want to learn how to prune trees for proper garden maintenance?

We prune trees for shape and style. The technique aids in managing the growth and structure of trees, removing dead or overgrown branches, and tree disease. Pruning also encourages the growth of fruits, flowers, and foliage.

You need to use the best pruning techniques at the right time of the year. That helps in boosting the longevity and beauty of your tree.

We have come up with tips to help you make the right cuts effectively and safely. Once you comprehend the science behind pruning, you can trust your eyes for the artistic elements of pruning.

Keep reading to understand how to prune trees and save your trees.

The Right Pruning Tools

Trimmers, hand pruners, shears, and loppers – you can use different types of pruning tools. Each tool has its purpose, but options can be a little overwhelming.

Here is how you should pick the right tools to prune:

Hand Pruners

Hand pruners are a landscaper’s best friend. The tools are light and small enough for you to carry in a pocket or single hand.

Hand pruners are very sharp to cut any stem standing in their way easily. Consider using the tools in making precision cuts on soft small branches and stems.

You will find two types of hand pruners – bypass and anvil. Bypass pruners are like scissors with overlapping blades.

Anvil pruners will consist of a single blade pressing against a flat edge. We recommend bypass pruners because anvil pruners crush the stem. That leads to tree disease.


When dealing with tree branches greater than ¼ inch in diameter, you need to upgrade to loppers. The tools are larger, heavy-duty pruners and have long handles to allow greater leverage and more power.

The tools are perfect for cutting stems, branches, or roots too tough for hand pruners. You will get a clean and precise cut.

Hedge Shears

A traditional hedge shear looks like giant scissors. The tool is best for shaping evergreen hedges and topiary.

Since the large blades make a broad cut, you should not use the tool to prune other shrubs and trees.

Pruning Saws

The tools make clean cuts to branches that loppers and hand pruners can’t handle. The tools are great when you want to cut out some large parts of shrubs or remove thicker branches.

The tool also comes as a pole saw – a saw on a stick – for cutting higher branches. You do not have to use a ladder.

Hedge Trimmers

You can use the tool to shape broad areas of shrubs and hedges. The blades are sharp and make clean, quick cuts over large areas.

We recommend you use an extendable hedge trimmer if your hedge is too large to tackle with traditional shears.

Tree Pruning Methods

There are many pruning methods you can try. Also, if it feels overwhelming, call in a professional like https://dawkinstreecare.com/. They will offer expert tree pruning services.

Each method aims to create trees with good air circulation, light penetration, strength, and attractive qualities.

The most popular pruning methods are crown reduction, raising, thinning, and cleaning. Each method will involve the tree’s crown.

That is because the crown is essential for leaves production for photosynthesis. The crown is vital for tree maintenance because the tree weakens over time without a healthy and strong one.

Crown Thinning

The method involves trimming the tree to get rid of specific live branches. You will be reducing the density of the trees.

Thinning is a common method on mature trees. Crown thinning enhances air circulation and sunlight penetration.

The method also reduces stress on tree limbs from wind, gravity, snow, or ice. Since the goal is changing the shape and tree size, you need to be consistent with the method throughout the tree.

Only remove 10 to 20 percent of the branches from the canopy’s edge. Note larger trees will benefit after removing end portions of limbs around one to four inches in diameter.

You can thin small fruit and ornamental trees by removing small limbs ¼ to ½ inch thick.

Crown Raising

The pruning method lifts the bottom edge of the tree limbs. You get to clear trees for buildings, traffic, or to have a clear view.

You need to perform the pruning method steadily over a long time. Note that you will have a weak tree once you remove many lower branches at once.

When pruning each year, consider removing only a few limbs whose diameters are less than 4 inches. Also, the live crown on deciduous trees makes up 60 percent of the tree.

Once the trunk goes over 40 percent, the tree begins to weaken.

Crown Reduction

We use the pruning method on older and more mature trees. The method helps in strengthening the tree and encourages new growth.

Reduction eliminates a tree branch for a growing sideways branch to a growing horizontal branch. Once growth starts, the horizontal branch becomes part of the tree crown.

The method is a gentler alternative to tree topping. You make smaller cuts, remove a little bit of the crown, and most old-growth remains for structure.

The goal of crown reduction is to remove old growth and encourage new growth.

Crown Cleaning

The pruning method involves removing dead, diseased, and broken branches. You can perform the method at any time.

Also, you can include crown cleaning as part of crown raising, reduction, and thinning. Crown cleaning aids in strengthening the whole tree and in the prevention of future damage.

You prevent damages to both trees and the property surrounding them while still enhancing the safety of the landscaping.

You Now Know How To Prune Trees

Learning how to prune trees is the best way to maintain healthy and attractive landscaping. Remember, pruning trees during winter is the best time.

That is so because you usher in vigorous spring growth. Also, it will take proper timing, assessment, and hard work to do the job well.

That’s why you should call in a professional tree service when the task becomes overwhelming. Once the job is complete, you will have stronger trees with strategic cuts.

If you have enjoyed reading this article, check out the other informative blogs from our site.

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