Tree Pruning and Bracing
Tree Pruning and Bracing. Pruning is common and usually described as removing tree parts like branches or limbs to maintain tree health.
There are different types of pruning such as crown lifting, crown thinning, canopy elevation, shaping, and more.
We will cover how to perform these types of pruning in an article at a later date.
It is always best to call in a professional arborist.
Especially if you are needing to remove storm-damaged branches or limbs.
Tree Pruning and Bracing:
Or if the trees ending pruning are near utility lines.
Your arborist can also point out other issues that you haven’t seen.
Another reason it is best to call in a pro is that they have the equipment needed to do the job safely.
WHY PRUNE YOUR TREES
Neglected shrubs can be turned into multitrunked trees if you prune the lower limbs.
This can be a much better option than having to plant another shrub in its place.
Remove Unwanted Growth:
Cut out any thin growth, remove the upright shoots that are growing out of the tree trunk.
Remove out the stems that grow up from roots (suckers), and remove wayward branches.
Direct The Growth:
When you prune your shrubs and trees it will direct the way in which your plants grow.
When you make a cut, it stops the growth in that direction but allows growth in other directions.
Tree Pruning and Bracing:
Low branches or broken/split branches can be a hazard to passing cars or people or utility lines.
These branches need to be pruned and taken out before they come crashing down.
Hurt someone, damage someone’s car, or take out power lines.
Create Desirable Shapes:
If you practice topiary or if you are a hobbyist then pruning will be an enjoyable job for you.
You can prune your shrubs into any shape you choose making for a very unique yard.
Encourage Plant Health:
Removing branches that are rubbing together.
Branches that are pest-ridden, or dead/damaged branches will keep your shrubs and trees much healthier.
Giving them a chance to grow more beautiful.
Produce More Fruit or Flowers:
Fruit trees and flower trees can be pruned so that they will produce more fruit or flower buds.
For flower trees, simply remove the flowers that have already bloomed and are starting to die.
Tree Pruning and Bracing:
Fruit trees are a little different and a bit more complicated.
During the dormant season.
Make small, direct cuts which can be a very tedious job but during harvest season you will reap your rewards.
TOOLS NEEDED TO PRUNE:
Used for small branches up to a quarter-inch around.
Used for branches up to one and a half inches around.
These shears are used to trim, prune, and shape shrubs.
Pruners are used for branches that are out of arm’s length and more than one inch around.
This saw is used for branches that ate more than one and a half inches around.
HOW TO PRUNE TREES:
Cut From Below:
Make a cut about twelve inches from your collar branch from underneath. About one-third of the branch through.
Cut Top Branch:
Go about an inch out and cut all the way through the top, ripping the branch completely off.
It should come off cleanly between the cuts.
Cut To Branch Collar:
To make your final cut, place the [pruning saw alongside the “branch bark ridge”. And cut going down outside of the branch collar.
WHAT IS “PINCHING:
This is a way of pruning without having to cut.
All you need to do is to “pinch” the terminal buds between your forefinger and thumb.
This will stop stems from growing longer which will promote more bud growth.
A terminal bud is a bud that grows at the tip of the shoots.
These buds will cause shoots to grow longer which will stop the growth of other buds on the shoot.
CHECK YOUR TREES:
During the pruning time, make sure to check all of your trees and shrubs for any signs of issues.
You will need to check for things like:
Bare roots around the tree:
- Raised soil.
- Bark that is peeling off.
- Roots that are wrapped around the tree.
- Hollowed or decayed wood.
Tree bracing is exactly what it says, bracing your tree using support stakes.
This will help support trees that might otherwise fall during storms or high winds.
Call an arborist to come out and inspect the tree to decide whether bracing is needed or not.
Make sure it is done correctly so as not to cause the tree even more damage.
WHY BRACE YOUR TREES:
Trees that are weak, split, or falling over will need to be braced.
Bracing your tree can sometimes help to repair damage.
Keep your tree from becoming more damaged or falling over entirely.
TOOLS NEEDED FOR BRACING:
Work boots and gloves are needed for safety.
You always need to put safety first above anything.
- A wooden stake can be used for a short tree under twelve feet.
- For taller trees, you will need to use metal stakes.
- Be sure to cut notches on your wooden stakes to make it easier to wrap the strapping around them later.
- Metal stakes will have notches or holes in them already.
You will need two pieces of strapping about two feet in length for each tree that you need to brace.
One nail will be needed for each strap that you use.
You will need this to drive the stakes into the ground.
HOW TO BRACE A TREE:
Below is a step-by-step guide on how to brace a tree.
Choose which of your trees will need to be braced, not all of them will need this procedure.
You will need to drive a stake into the ground beside the tree, at least two feet into the ground.
Be very careful not to drive the stake into the roots of your tree.
If the stake wobbles too much then you will need to drive it deeper into the ground until it is sturdy.
Now you will need to wrap the rubber strap around the stake and the trunk of the tree.
Tightly, but leave just a little room so that your tree can still sway some.
Nail the strap to the stake:
On the opposite side, drive a second stake into the ground, taking care not to nail it into the tree.
Wrap the second strap either above or below the first one and nail it to the stake.
Again, leaving room for your tree to sway a little.
Once the growing season is over.
Remove the bracing and see if your tree is now sturdy enough on its own or if it is still unstable.
Once the tree is sturdy, it will no longer need to be braced. If it is still unstable, brace it for another season.
For a healthier, more beautiful tree/shrub, remember to prune at least once a year.
This helps support any weak or crooked trees.
Promotes them to grow tall and straight with no fear of them falling over.
Calling in a professional arborist is always the best thing to do.
But if you insist on doing the pruning and bring yourself, make sure that safety always comes before anything else!