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Expert Advice

 

Do It Yourself - Prune a Tree

Wed 2011-02-23 8:42:54 | by , North Atlantic Division Manager

It’s hard to believe with the weather still plunging in many parts of the United States, but spring is on the way and for many trees – it’s almost time to begin pruning.  The best time to prune a tree is late winter, when a tree is still dormant. Trees get pruned for cosmetic and safety reasons. Depending on exactly what you are looking to do to your trees, you may consider hiring experts for the job.  A licensed arborist is experienced at removing full sized limbs safely and correctly.

If you’re doing it yourself, and you’re not an experienced tree climber, or if the tree is extremely large – the first thing to do is rent a lift.  A 30’ lift that is towed behind a truck or a self propelled boom lift with heights from 40-60 feet should do the job getting you to the top of the tree.  But what do you do once you’re there?

To prune a tree correctly, it is important to protect the trunk wood of the tree.  Pruning cuts need to be made on the branch side of what is called a tree’s branch or stem collar - the area that develops at the branch’s foundation, separating the branch from the tree trunk. 

To remove large branches, start by making a cut up from the underside of the branch you wish to prune, about 1/3 through.  This initial cut ensures that the bark breaks at that point and there should be no ripping or shredding of the bark. Then, a few inches farther out on the branch, cut straight through leaving only a stub end. The final cut should be made just outside the branch collar to reduce the stub as much as possible.  However, take care not to cut the branch / stem collar.

Keep in mind while you’re pruning to take care in making sure that cut limbs do not impact the boom arm of the lift. 

If you have any questions about what lift is best for your situation, feel free to contact a BlueLine Rental expert at any of our locations.

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