The best time to cut excessive tree branches and limbs is in the middle of fall through late winter. Disorder pathogens are sedentary and hence not a significant risk to damaging your trees. Then again, a fresh cut or wound during the warmer months can be an easy entry point for illnesses and pests. Take note that there are some trees that ‘bleed’ exceedingly when cut. This is sap leaking from the new wound. While it looks serious and unpleasant, it causes no damage. Some trees that are especially susceptible to bleeding include beech, birch, elm, maple and yellowwood.
It’s always less difficult to work above what you’re cutting, so get to a secure step for working. Select a bough and instead than tackling it all in one go, cut it off in segments so it’s easier to manage.
The best pruning cut is done outside the branch collar, at a 40 to 60 degree position to the branch bark ridge. Keep the branch collar unchanged to help avoid decay from getting into the trunk. Whenever getting rid of limbs greater than one inch in diameter, use the three-cut method to prevent shredding bark. First, about 12 inches from the trunk, cut halfway through the limb from the bottom part. Second, about 1 inch beyond the first cut, cut through the limb from the top area.
Should I Seal the Wound?
Trees close their wounds the natural way that come from branch cutting, so essentially, pruning wounds should be left to close up without any help from anyone. Also, since most pruning should be done in late fall or winter, pests should not be much of a concern. But, there can be some situations when it is more suitable to seal the wound with a non-asphalt-based pruning sealer like Spectraside Pruning Seal. For example, you should seal pruning wounds on trees that are prone to harmful insect infestation such as birch, oak, and elm trees. Also, if the weather is especially dry, a pruning sealer will help the tree preserve more water.
Suggestions regarding pruning tools is pretty easy. Get the best tools (the more expensive ones tend to do work more efficiently) you can afford and keep them in good condition. There are some new pruning equipment out on the market (such as with power amplifier – amplifies the strength you apply when cutting) that you may not have seen of that can tremendously lower the effort needed in pruning.