Quick Tips on How to Prune a Tree to Keep It Small

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Pruning is essential for the health of trees. It has a positive effect on the their growth too. It can boost growth and improve the overall health of a tree or shrub. However, pruning needs to be done in the right season and using the right techniques.

Pruning the trees in the right ways also helps you to keep their branches limited to an area. You can manage the height of trees and help then grow and flourish to their full potential. So, let us check the right ways to prune a tree.

how to prune a tree to keep it small                                Source: Wikihow


Prune in the right season

People usually prune the trees in the winter season when they are dormant. People can continue pruning the trees until their bloom flowers in spring, but the bees can cause problems for them. Therefore, the best time to prune a tree in winter or late summer. The healing of cuts and wounds is  fastest in late summer. It is also the best time for the pruning of smaller and formal trees.

You should not prune a tree frequently as the loss of leaves will reduce the photosynthesis and, in turn, nutrition for the tree. Therefore, it is best to prune the trees once or twice a year when the healing is fastest.

How to keep trees small?

Landscapers need to use a tree pruning technique depending upon the type of tree and the desired effect.

Pruning when dormant

When the trees are dormant, pruning should be done by shortening only the side branches to make them small and beautiful. Pruning only small branches will allow more light and reduce the danger of damage from winds and storms.

Pruning in this way also helps you remove the diseased or damaged branches. However, it is essential to study the effect of cutting a branch before removing it from the tree.

Crown lifting

Crown lifting means removing only the low branches that allow access to mowing and mulching. Also, it maintains the shade of the tree for a dense canopy.

Crown thinning

Thinning the crown means removing some branches and leaving some. In this process, landscapers recommend removing up to 30 percent of the branches. A tree pruner concentrates on dead and congested shoots of the tree. Crown thinning should be performed by professional landscapers as if done incorrectly; it can spoil the appearance of the tree.

How much to prune?

Tree owners and landscapers should not prune more than 25 percent of a tree’s canopy as doing so will reduce the photosynthesis to a much extent. It means that the tree will not be able to produce enough food by its leaves required for growth and maintenance of health. It can lead a tree to struggle for survival and growth. Therefore, landscape owners should take care to prune a tree less than 1/4th of its canopy.

how much to prune a tree                               Source: Wixstatic

Prune over time

Horticulturalists and landscapers recommend lowering of a mature tree over a three year period. It is best to prune one-third of the height every year. Tree owners must prune the canopy before the spring rain as it decreases the chances of infections and diseases on the cuts. If possible, you should cut the top back to the branches of the tree that are one-third of the size of its trunk.

Pruning a tree rapidly

It is a drastic procedure to reduce the height of a tree in a single season. It can work with work with citrus fruits, apples, pears, and avocados but not with a stone or pit with peaches, apricots, nectarines, cherries, and other fruits. Professional horticulturists recommend pruning branches upto 4 to 6 feet from the vertical braches. The best time for rapid pruning is early April.

Try to preserve the branches that grow on the sides, even if they are small. These branches and buds on the shoots of main branches will grow into tiny new trees.

Tulip-like Pruning

One way to limit a tree’s height is by shaping it like a tulip, restricting the trunk’s vertical growth. The trees planted in the spring are trimmed 2 to 3 above their roots, and the branches on the side are cut back to two buds. The tree is dormant for the first winter, three or four branches are selected to become scaffolding branches. Usually, these are about 6 inches apart, with the lowest about 18 inches above ground level.

The intention is to radiate outward and upward scaffolding branches in the rough shape of a tulip. Smaller branches from the scaffolding branches may expand laterally. The branches of the scaffolding are pruned to one-third of their length, and the leader— the main stem that would otherwise develop as the root— is cut. This way, pruned trees have an open center and are sometimes referred to as vase-shaped.

Final Words

These are some techniques to prune trees to keep them small. However, pruning in the wrong way can be dangerous to trees as well as your landscape. It is best to hire a professional service like tree service Epping to prune your trees as required. Removing the branches with the right tools and techniques is good to maintain the growth and health of your trees.