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Pruning Trees: Large Branches

Late winter after the coldest weather has passed through early spring before growth begins is a great time to prune trees.  Make proper cuts to insure the health and longevity of your plants. 

Use the three-cut method when removing large branches.  This prevents trunk damage caused by the weight of the branch ripping it and the bark off the tree.

Make your first cut about one foot away from the trunk.  Cut from the bottom of the branch upward about 1/3 of the way through the branch.

Next cut downward from the top of the branch several inches beyond the first cut.  As the branch starts to fall, it will break away at the first cut.  This prevents damage to the trunk.

The third and final cut is made flush with the branch bark collar.  It’s the swollen area at the base of the branch and acts as a natural barrier to decay-causing organisms.

A bit more information: Consider hiring a certified arborist for large tree care.  These tree care professionals have the training and equipment to do the job safely and correctly.  Visit www.treesaregood.org to find a certified arborist in your area.

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