Pruning your own trees is not all that difficult if they are small, and if you have sharp clippers. One of the main struggles people have when they do prune their own trees is knowing which branches to remove. This article should help with that. If you can remember the simple acronym BCD then you'll have an easier time deciding which branches to preferentially prune away. Here's what each letter stands for.
Always prune away any broken branches. This includes larger branches that may have cracks in them, and it also includes smaller branches that may have had their ends snapped off. Branches that are already broken are likely to break the rest of the way when high winds roll in, which means they'll just end up in your yard, making a mess. Pruning them away now helps contain the mess, and it also prevents the tree from wasting resources to keep broken branches alive.
Other types of branches you should prune away are branches that cross one another. Branches that cross usually rub over each other. This can lead to wounds in the bark, which the tree then has to dedicate resources to healing. The wounds may also become infected with fungi, or in some cases, they may attract insects. When deciding which of the crossed branches to remove, look at their relative size and positioning. Usually, you want to remove the branch that is smaller, and the one that is the least straight from origin to end.
D: Dead or Dying
Finally, make sure you remove any branches that are dead or dying. If a branch is really brown and brittle, it is dead. If it has fungal mats growing on it, black cankers in its bark, or numerous spots on its leaves, then it is dying. By removing dying branches early on, you can help prevent the spread of any infection to the rest of the tree. If your tree does have any diseased branches, make sure you sanitize your shears after pruning them away; this will kill any active bacteria or fungi.
If you can remember the acronym BCD, then you will be better prepared to prune your own tree. Even if you can do your own pruning most years and hire a pro now and then, you should be in good shape.
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27 April 2023
I love and appreciate all of the trees around my home, but I do worry about what will happen during a strong storm. Will I get rudely awakened by by a tree crashing through the roof into my bedroom? Will a tree fall and take down the power lines that my family relies on each day to live our comfortable life? This blog will show you what you need to know before you go cutting down all of the trees on your property to maintain a safe living space and advice for picking and choosing the trees that will remain.