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Cut to the Chase: An Arborist’s Guide to Pruning

Cut to the Chase: An Arborist’s Guide to Pruning

The act of pruning is a valuable skill that helps shape landscapes & promote longevity in nature. Our experts have compiled their tips & basic techniques for general pruning tailored to pros like you!

General Pruning Guidelines & Considerations

  • Timing: The best time for pruning is late fall/winter/early spring for general pruning purposes depending on plant species. With certain exceptions, avoid heavy pruning in late spring to prevent unnecessary stress. Note that removing unsafe branches can be done any time of year
  • Disease Transmission: Certain diseases can spread through pruning wounds. Trimming during winter dormancy helps reduce possible transmission
  • Live Tissue Removal: Younger greenery is typically more tolerant, but no more than 25% of limbs or a tree’s crown should be removed at once
  • Wound Closure: Prune with care, avoid cutting below the branch collar to ensure wounds close properly
  • Plant Species: Consider the type of tree, shrub, or plant, as different types react differently to pruning during various seasons

Popular Pruning Techniques

  • Cleaning: Remove dead, dying, diseased, and weak branches
  • Raising: Eliminate low branches to provide clearance & ensure safety
  • Reduction: Decrease the size of a plant to preserve its structural integrity & form
  • Density Reduction/Thinning: Enhance wind/light permeation for improved aesthetics & health

Safety Tips for Pruning

  • Make Safety a Priority: Cutting corners is never an option. Invest in quality climbing & rigging gear to prioritize safety while pruning trees
  • Be Patient & Meticulous: Avoid costly mistakes by going slow & trimming with a purpose
  • Check & Check Again: Double-check ropes, knots, pulleys, and equipment to ensure everything is functioning properly. Carefully selecting your cuts further ensures safety

Pruning is a commitment to the well-being of the landscape & environment. The harmonious balance achieved through proper techniques, timing, and post-cut care ensures a flourishing ecosystem. As you embark on your pruning ventures, remember to go slow, be meticulous, and visit your local Russo location for everything you need to power your pruning duties!

For additional info & tips about winter pruning, check out Prune like a Pro: An Arborist’s Guide to Winter Pruning, another informative article featured on our blog!


Additional Resources:

Tree & Plant Diseases - The Morton Arboretum

Tree & Plant Pests - The Morton Arboretum

Tree Owner Information - International Society of Arboriculture

Tree Pruning - International Society of Arboriculture

Fruit Tree Pruning - Fast Growing Trees

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