Pruning is the selective removal of branches, some parts of a tree, or portions of the vegetation. It is essential since it allows a balanced growth of a tree and maintains its fundamental outlook.
Excess branches and twigs in a tree do more harm than good on a tree. They will compete for food as well as offer an environment for insects to hide in the closed crown of the tree. These will negatively affect production.
Despite all that, pruning needs to be done systematically to avoid killing or even causing a stunted growth to the tree. Pruning a tree if not done properly will leave the tree more damaged and in a worse situation than it was before.
Main reasons you should never remove all the branches on a tree.
- The new branches that will grow will be weakly attached to the remaining branch ends. These can fall in the slightest wind and be a source of destruction or be a hazard.
- Since the tree makes its food through its leaves, cutting down all the leaves, exposes the tree to starvation and risk of eventual death. The situation is different to some trees which shed leaves and stay inactive during a period.
- The ends of cut branches are an ‘excellent’ entry point for insects and disease-causing germs in trees. Opening up all those wounds in a tree and then leave it without food is a sure way of killing the tree.
- Trees beautify our environment as well as cleaning the air by absorbing carbon dioxide in the air.
- It can eventually lead to unplanned deforestation – The simple actions of harming one tree at a time is what ultimately results in a bunch of destroyed trees.
Why we prune trees?
- To enhance its natural shape and enhance its aesthetic beauty
- Improve the branching structure of the tree for easy scaling.
- Maintain its health by removing dead and infected branches.
- Remove crossing branches since they rub until they form wounds on trees.
- To remove clutter from the crown of the tree, this makes light to penetrate efficiently. The Wind can also pass through with least resistance, and this reduces incidences of branches breaking.
Necessary tools to have for a pruning exercise
- Twist-lock telescopic handle pruning saw.
- Retractable pruning saw.
- A bow saw.
- Long reach pruning saws.
- A chainsaw – It should be used with caution and by only a person who has experience in using it.
- Eyes protection goggles.
- Thick ropes to tie the branches or for scaling up the tree
- Gloves to avoid unnecessary scratches on your palms since will be in contact with the tree branches in most of the times.
Not yet ready for pruning exercise, here are some more tips,
- A branch should be cut above its collar to enable the swollen part to help cover the resulting wound faster.
- Pruning paints are not necessary while pruning a healthy tree unless the tree is heavily infested with insects and pests
- Apply pruning sealer in areas of the tree where the bark has been peeled off by mistake.
- Looking to do it yourself? Check out https://www.treetrader.com/ to buy your own equipment.