Pruning a tree is like giving it a day at the salon. It helps keep them tidy, strong, and healthy. This also allows them to reach their growth potential whilst looking at their absolute best.

In a way, they’re not too different from us! With the right care and nurturing, your trees can live a full and healthy life in your garden, and look great doing it.

Pruning doesn’t have to be scary, but it’s important to do it properly so as not to cause damage to it. So this guide shows you how to properly prune a tree yourself, from the techniques to the tools to help you on your way.

Why Prune at All?

When a tree gets out of control it can cause all sorts of trouble, from health and safety to creating an absolute mess of your garden. Pruning helps manage your trees in a controlled manner, preventing disease, and triggering new healthy growth.

When to Prune a Tree?

Generally speaking, milder climates such as late winter to early spring are best while the tree is dormant. There’s a much lower risk of trees becoming damaged, infested, or diseased in the cuts you make. So once spring kicks in, there’s plenty more room to grow new flowers and fruit.

Which Tools to Use?

It’s important to make sure you use the right tools for the tree type. Ensure they’re clean and sharp to make tidy cuts that don’t spread disease. Shears are good for small branches and close cuts; extendable lopping shears for wider branches; coarse-tooth saws for branches up to an inch thick; and pole pruners for those higher, thicker branches.

How to Properly Prune a Tree

1. First, decide where are you pruning the tree. Is it to tidy it up or create a shape out of it? Are you looking to create more shade, light, or removed damage? Take some time to imagine how you want the tree to look and identify what needs to be removed to achieve it.

2. Remove any damaged branches first to allow the healthier branches get maximum nutrients. Then move onto those that grow inwards, cross over, and create clutter. This allows for good air circulation and prevents clusters that attract insects and fungus.

3. Make the initial cuts under the branch and part of the way through, a few inches from the trunk. This means when you make the cut from above (downwards) to remove it, it won’t snap and cause damage. Once you’ve removed the branch you can cleanly remove the stub that’s left.

Always cut downwards when removing branches and never branches growing upwards. If water gets into the wounds it can cause it to rot.

4. Next, remove the branches that cause hazards and obstructions, and start forming the shape of how you want the tree to look. Just don’t go overboard as you don’t want to cause any unnecessary stress to the tree and inhibit its growth potential. Give it time to recover between prunes.

As you can see, it’s not all that difficult, but some trees may be too big to take on yourself. If this is the case, you can always find good tree pruning services such as, to help you get the job done.

Treating Your Trees With Care

This guide gives you the basics on how to properly prune a tree. But it’s up to you to maintain and care for your trees properly to allow them to grow to their full potential.

This means keeping your tools clean and sharp. It means making careful cuts in the right place and at the right time. And just as you’d give yourself regular grooming and attention, your tree needs the same love too. Not only will your garden look great, but your trees will thank you for it!

Be sure to check out our blog for more home and garden tips today!

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