Trees

Annual Tree Pruning Steps from Planting to Maturity

Pruning

Tree pruning, trimming, or cutting is an ongoing process throughout the life of your tree. After selecting the right tree and carefully planting it, early pruning is the most important thing you can do for a young tree.

Proper pruning will save you money and give you a safer more beautiful, healthier, and easier-to-maintain tree. Remember what you do to your tree in its first few years of life will affect its shape, strength, and even its life span.

Tree Pruning Steps at Planting

Leave as much of the entire leaf surface as possible to manufacture food that will build a larger root system. Roots will be larger after one year if left unpruned.

Do prune the following and trim close to the trunk:

  • Broken branches.
  • Branches competing with the leader.
  • Swollen branches from insect eggs or stings.
  • Remove tree tags.
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Learn Pruning Techniques with our Virtual Pruning Guide.

Tree Pruning: After 3 to 4 Years

Root growth should be well on its way to anchoring the transplant and expanding the size necessary to nourish the growing branches.

  • Cut off root suckers and sprouts in the crown.
  • Thin excessive branches to reduce competition for light, water, and nutrients.
  • Remove codominant leader.
  • Remove a few of the lowest limbs but others are temporarily left to help the trunk develop more taper and strength.
  • Eliminate branches that rub or growing in undesirable direction.
  • Remove narrow angled branches.
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Learn Pruning Techniques with our Virtual Pruning Guide.

Tree Pruning: After 5 to 7 Years

Now it is time to make a good tree even better.

  • Lower limbs are pruned off to �raise� the bottom of the crown well out of the way of human heads. The lowest limbs are now permanent limbs. Please note: branches DO NOT move upward as a tree grows taller. The center of a branch at 5 feet will always be at 5 feet.
  • Cut back a few of the higher up branches so they don�t protrude beyond the graceful outline of the crown.
  • Inspect tree to see if you need to remove a branch here or there for even spacing.
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Learn Pruning Techniques with our Virtual Pruning Guide.

Tree Pruning: 15 Years After Planting

With proper pruning at the beginning of your trees life your tree will have a better chance of surviving extreme conditions such as wind storms, ice, and drought. That is because proper pruning gave strength to the branches.

Early each spring, look for dead or damaged limbs. If you do have dead or damage limbs remove using proper pruning methods.

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Learn Pruning Techniques with our Virtual Pruning Guide.