Have Sharp Tools. You must have sharp tools. Pruning is essentially surgery. You can’t do surgery with a dull scalpel. A clean pruning cut slices wood, it doesn’t tear it. Dull blades tear wood fibers, killing more living cells and blocking the healing process.
Choose Where To Cut. Whether you are removing wood that is dead, damaged, or diseased or pruning out wood for other purposes like thinning or shaping the plant, your first step to making a good cut is deciding which branch needs to be cut.
Once you’ve decided on which branch to cut, find a good cut site. When pruning or cutting a branch a year or older off trees and shrubs, there will be a “collar” ringing the base of the branch. On older wood, this areas is large and more visible. Cut above this ring. Never cut into it. When cutting smaller wood, locate your cut just above a strong node with either one or more healthy buds or, even better, a healthy offshoot.
On hardwood that is over three years old, buds are buried within the wood. If this is the case, make the cut at the height you want. If the wood is healthy, you’ll see regrowth from a hidden bud eventually. Afterwards, you can follow up with any further cuts to remove dead wood.
For the best cut, when possible, cut to an offshoot that is not only healthy, but points in the direction you want future growth to occur. This is usually away from the center of the plant. It’s usually worth cutting back farther and pruning off more wood to get this situation.
Now, if you do not feel comfortable or simply don’t have the proper tools to do any tree maintenance, we are more than happy to do any of this work for you. Also, if you have multiple trees to remove or just don’t have the time to do it, we are here for you. We can handle all of your tree maintenance needs and services in the Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Richland, Pasco) and even West Richland. We look forward to being your preferred tree maintenance provider.