Tree Pruning Dos and Don’ts

DO:

  • Ask your arborist or tree care company if they prune according to the American National Standards Institute standard for tree pruning, which is called ANSI A300.
    This standard recommends, and in some cases requires, that the use of certain tools, cutting techniques and pruning methods be followed, and sets the standard definitions for terms the arborist will use in your estimate. Properly written work estimates for tree pruning should be written in accordance with ANSI A300 standards.
  • Remember that poor pruning can cause damage that lasts for the life of the tree.
  • Assess your trees after a storm to see if there is pruning needed.

DON’T:

  • Prune without a good reason
  • Remove any more than 25 percent of foliage during a growing season.
  • Prune a newly planted tree for the first year, unless you are removing dead or broken branches.
  • Prune within 10 feet of a utility conductor – leave it to the pros.
  • Try to tackle a pruning job that requires a chain saw and ladder work – leave it to the pros.
  • Leave branch stubs, or cut off the branch collar (not make a flush cut).
  • Climb the tree with climbing spikes
  • Use wound paint
  • Strip out inner foliage and branches (also called lion-tailing)

Use TCIA’s search tool to hire a professional arborist or tree care company.

Pruning Infographic

Tree Pruning


125 thoughts on “Tree Pruning Dos and Don’ts

  • May 11, 2017 at 4:42 pm
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    Great advice. Most people don’t think twice about their trees until they are plagued with disease and need to be cut down. If they give them half the attention they give their grass, the trees will flourish and grow for years to come.

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  • April 19, 2017 at 11:33 am
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    Good info. Too many people just hack at their trees and end up doing more harm than good. Leave it to the tree professionals if you are not confident in what you are doing.

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  • April 18, 2017 at 6:38 pm
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    Yup, pruning is an art. Pruning incorrectly may even result in permanent damage, good article.

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  • April 1, 2017 at 1:02 pm
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    This article speaks truth. Many people skip winter season while caring for their trees but it’s just as important!

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  • March 13, 2017 at 7:39 am
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    Also get a tree lopper who knows how to do a controlled drop. Many times we’ve seen some so called professionals fell a tree and take out large sections of fence and even a back garden shed. Not a good look. Hahha

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  • February 22, 2017 at 3:36 pm
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    I like that you talked about how much you should prune. I think that some people prune a lot, but they find themselves pruning too much. That can actually damage your tree. Do you have any advice about removing a tree if they just aren’t good for your yard anymore?

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  • February 15, 2017 at 2:14 am
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    These are really great and useful tips. All in all, getting your work done by a professional is the best way to go about it

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  • January 23, 2017 at 4:35 pm
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    I love your advice to not prune without good reason. After all, you don’t want to fix something if it isn’t broken. The last thing you want is to cause unnecessary problems with your trees and/or home. Do you have any other tips about finding someone good to prune your trees?

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  • December 14, 2016 at 11:22 pm
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    Some very useful tips and ideas.
    Thanks for doing a great job.

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  • December 4, 2016 at 5:26 pm
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    Most people don’t know that so much care has to be taken when prunning trees. Thanks for the excellent read

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  • December 2, 2016 at 2:50 am
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    Thank you for posting this. It was really helpful information and a great refresher to look at.

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  • November 15, 2016 at 1:44 pm
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    I’ve never heard of “wound paint.” I’ll have to do some more research on that. That sounds like something that would be damaging to a tree! My husband and I have been wanting to get rid of this big tree in our backyard. We will have to keep these tips in mind. Hopefully, we can do it safely and carefully!

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  • November 2, 2016 at 6:24 am
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    Good points with your Do’s and Don’ts. Just to add up, Heavy pruning just after the spring growth flush should be avoided. At that time, trees have just expended a great deal of energy to produce foliage and early shoot growth. Removal of a large percentage of foliage at that time can stress the tree.

    Joel

    Reply
  • October 19, 2016 at 8:21 am
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    It’s definitely best to ask the professionals. We recently had a neighbour of a friend who started cutting down a mulberry tree in their yard that was located next to their house. They were told by a relative that mulberry trees can cause issues with the root system getting into pipes and into concrete foundations. This is true…. but there is only one type of non-fruiting Californian Mulberry tree that is capable of this. They had cut down a perfectly harmless, beautiful fruiting mulberry tree for nothing.

    Needless to say they were heart broken when I came to remove the stump and told them.

    Reply
  • September 5, 2016 at 10:50 pm
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    First off, just wanted to express my appreciation for the short and simple article. You make it really easy for me to send off to friends and family who are planning on doing some pruning to the trees in their backyard. And completely agree with you particularly on the points where it involves a utility conductor or ladders…leave it to the pros 🙂

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  • August 25, 2016 at 9:26 pm
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    Very good tips. Most people do not know how to properly prune their tree limbs. Pruning can really promote a healthy tree or it could severely damage the tree if not done properly.

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  • August 25, 2016 at 10:54 am
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    It really is a good idea not to prune without a good idea. You might want to trim your tree, but you should make sure that you do it right. That way, you won’t damage the tree. It would be awful to kill or damage your tree. A good reason to prune would be because of dead branches.

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  • August 24, 2016 at 10:36 am
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    I had no idea that there was a right and a wrong time to prune my trees. I usually just do it whenever I get around to it and wasn’t aware that it was best to do that when the tree wasn’t going through a growing season. However, when exactly are the growing seasons?

    Reply
  • August 5, 2016 at 3:46 pm
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    I like your tip to ask your tree service if they follow the national standards for pruning. I don’t know the first thing about pruning a tree, but I want a tree service I hire to. I’m very interested in keeping my trees alive.

    Reply
  • August 4, 2016 at 7:12 pm
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    Tree pruning may seem simple but is serious business and should be left to the professionals. Many people don’t realize they can be doing great harm to their trees by pruning incorrectly. In the long run the money you may save could wind up costing much more in maintenance and future tree related issues. Don’t be cheap when it comes to trees.

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  • July 13, 2016 at 10:33 am
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    We have a few crab apple trees in our yard that have gotten out of control. My boyfriend is ready to go out and try to trim them himself, but I don’t think that’s a good idea. I think he would get carried away and take off more than the 25% that you suggest not going over. the trees will be better off if we hire a professional to do the job. Is growing season the best time to prune, or should we wait till later in the year? Thanks for these tips!

    Reply
    • August 14, 2016 at 11:03 pm
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      We recently attended a property where over 20 avocado tree’s where pruned to aggressive and incorrectly and this resulted in all the trees dying.

      Reply
  • June 14, 2016 at 2:45 am
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    Thank you for sharing!!
    Pruning Dos and Don’ts ….well i am favor of dos because lots of reason. I frequently pruned my garden tree it gives them shape n some space in my garden as well gives branches more stronger and potential.

    Reply
  • May 19, 2016 at 1:03 pm
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    This is so good to know! I had no idea there were any standards for pruning. I’m glad I read this before I did any damage to my trees. I just moved to my first home with trees on property and i want to take really good care of them. No more guessing for me! Thank you!

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  • May 13, 2016 at 8:44 pm
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    Great tip about letting a professional do the work if the job requires the use of a chainsaw. My husband and I recently moved into a home with fruit trees in the backyard and I think they need to be pruned. I’m not sure how to do this or what equipment I would need, so I think I will just hire a professional to be safe. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • May 12, 2016 at 11:40 am
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    Thanks for the great articles. Very informative stuff for the entire tree service community.

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  • May 11, 2016 at 1:39 pm
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    I recently started doing landscape work for an apartment complex. I really appreciated this advice because I don’t have a lot of experience with tree trimming. I didn’t realize that you shouldn’t prune within 10 feet of a utility conductor. I can see why one would need to be careful in those situations. Thanks!

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  • April 30, 2016 at 9:13 pm
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    We just recently had a ton of work done in our back yard. We moved in and apparently nobody had done anything for at least 10 years. We know this from the neighbors. The guys that came ended up taking almost 3 days and did a crazy amount of work. After they were done, the neighbors were shocked. My family didn’t recognize the yard. It gave us so much more usable space. It wasn’t even remotely cheap, but it was so worth it.

    Reply
  • April 28, 2016 at 4:26 pm
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    I liked your tip to assess my tree in case it needs to be trimmed if there’s been a storm. It seems that storms can make tree branches weaker and potentially fall when there’s another storm. I’ve had fairly large branches fall because of it in the past, so calling an arborist to prune it seems like a good idea.

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  • April 27, 2016 at 7:15 pm
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    Can you kill a tree from overpruning?

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  • April 20, 2016 at 1:28 am
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    Sound advice, and I think everyone should try to contact a local arborist before taking on such a challenge. You should be able to get a free quote at least.

    Reply
  • March 31, 2016 at 4:08 pm
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    These are some great tips, and I appreciate your advice to assess your trees after a storm to see if they need pruning. My area got hit by a really strong windstorm a couple of days ago, and a couple of my trees look like their branches were damaged in it. I’ll definitely look into having a professional come and assess the situation to see if they need to be pruned at all. Thanks for the great post!

    Reply
  • March 8, 2016 at 11:52 am
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    I’m giving this list to my husband so he doesn’t kill another one of our trees!

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  • March 4, 2016 at 9:39 pm
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    I really like your first tip about making sure that you are trimming your trees the right way. We have a few trees in our yard that we planted last year and we want to make sure they they grow nice and tall. We are really invested in taking care of them so we will definitely take these tips to heart, thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  • February 29, 2016 at 11:43 am
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    Can I safely trim my tree even if there aren’t any leaves yet due to winter?

    Reply
  • February 11, 2016 at 1:35 pm
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    It is interesting for me to learn a little bit about how to prune trees. I have been at a loss as to how to do that. This article has given me clear and specific direction as to how to prune trees.

    Reply
  • February 1, 2016 at 5:19 pm
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    Amazing. I love these types of articles. Here in Denver, tree care is so difficult and I’m always looking for tips for plant health care. I found this great site, as well. http://mountainhightree.com

    Reply
  • January 7, 2016 at 11:43 am
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    I didn’t know you were not supposed to remove more than 25 percent of foliage during growing season. This article could have just saved my tree, thanks for sharing your knowledge of tree trimming!

    Reply
  • December 21, 2015 at 10:06 am
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    I was thinking about trimming my tree by myself. However, I never knew that so much went into the process. I think I will leave it to the professionals. Thank you for the information.

    Reply
  • December 18, 2015 at 1:41 pm
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    Thanks for the advice. I have a tree that was damaged in a storm last night I am going to need trimmed. These suggestions will be useful. Thank you!

    Reply
  • December 14, 2015 at 4:06 pm
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    Thank you for sharing these helpful pruning tips. I have never pruned a tree before and I really have no idea what I’m doing. My apple tree looks like it is way overgrown with too many branches and leaves. It seems like something I should probably not do by myself.

    Reply
  • December 11, 2015 at 5:41 pm
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    I think that you need to know when to prune and when to avoid pruning. If you prune when your tree doesn’t need to, you will end up ruining the tree. Your tree removal company will end up having to actually remove your tree instead of doing a simple pruning.

    Reply
  • December 11, 2015 at 4:36 pm
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    I was completely unaware that there are national standards for tree pruning! I will look into that when I find someone to prune our trees this winter. Can one find the ANSI A300 standards online to make sure that the work estimates are written properly?

    Reply
  • December 8, 2015 at 5:28 pm
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    Pruning has never been so easy. At first I thought it’s just a matter of knowing what to cut. After reading this article, I found out that I need to consider a lot of things. Thank you for the DOs and Don’ts.

    Reply
  • November 11, 2015 at 12:37 pm
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    Thanks for the tip about checking after a storm for needed pruning to be done. When I was growing up, we had a tree that lost one of its huge branches after a big snowstorm. The scars are still embedded in the trunk. I’ll have to show a copy of this post to my dad. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • October 26, 2015 at 3:18 pm
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    It is really interesting to know that bad pruning can do serious damage to your trees. I thought that it was especially interesting that that damage can be permanent. That is why it is a really good idea for you to make sure that you find a pruner that works based off of the national standards. That can really help take a lot of weight off of your shoulders.

    Reply
  • October 22, 2015 at 5:13 pm
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    I really appreciate your comment about talking to an arborist or a tree company. I didn’t realize there may be guidelines and requirements for tree care. We moved into a new house with a garden that looks very wild at the moment, I want to get it into shape.

    Reply
  • October 19, 2015 at 9:41 pm
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    I don’t know what to do when pruning trees or other tree serves. It makes sense to only prune 25 percent of foliage, I think that would damage the tree if too much is taken off. There is more to pruning then I thought. Thanks for the ideas.

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  • October 14, 2015 at 11:12 pm
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    Hello, I thought this article was really helpful. This whole time I was pruning my trees just because I thought that you were suppose to every year. I hope that I haven’t caused too much damage! I also didn’t know that any damaged that I caused lasted for the entire life of the tree, I might have to start calling a professional tree sercive. Thank you for the tips, I will keep them in mind for future pruning.

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  • October 13, 2015 at 6:08 pm
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    I think that you need to know when to prune your tree. Like you said in the first bullet point under don’t, you shouldn’t prune without a good reason. If you just trim a tree to be doing it, you can actually ruin the tree. There is a special way you have to cut the tree and you don’t want to trim too much or you can really get into trouble.

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  • October 13, 2015 at 8:38 am
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    These are some really good tips about pruning a tree. I had no idea that poor pruning can cause damage that lasts for the life time of the tree. I just moved into a new house that already had pre-existing peach trees. I have no idea of how to take care of trees. This is a great article to help me figure out the things to do and not to do. Thanks for posting and hope other people can enjoy this!

    Reply
  • October 12, 2015 at 8:56 am
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    I think its a great idea to, as you mentioned, “assess your trees after a storm to see if there is pruning needed.” The only time I’ve checked my trees after a storm is when it was a crazy storm and the tree was noticeably damaged. I think by checking for little damages can help prevent further issues in the future. Do you have any tips to help trees survive big storms?

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  • October 6, 2015 at 11:38 pm
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    I like what was said about pruning damage and how it could be permanent. I need a tree serviced, and I want to make sure that it is done correctly. I think that the best way to do this would be to make sure the tree care company if they work according to the American National Standards Institutes standard, as stated in the article. Thanks for the tips!

    Reply
  • October 6, 2015 at 5:57 pm
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    I did not know there were certain things to not do when pruning your trees. Thanks for the tip to not use wound paint when pruning a tree’s branches. I was going to get some when I was out the other day. Good thing I decided against it. Thanks for the great post.

    Reply
  • October 6, 2015 at 12:28 pm
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    I didn’t realize that there was so much to think about when pruning a tree. It seems like a lot of times it’s better to leave it to the professionals. I’m a big DIY kind of guy but sometimes it’s better to be safe than sorry, right?

    Reply
  • October 1, 2015 at 12:58 pm
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    I have a tree that is starting to fall over and will soon crush my fence. I was going to just go out and try to cut it up myself, but after reading this, I think that I would call the professionals to do it. I will also make sure to ask them if they prune according to ANSI A300 standards.

    Reply
  • October 1, 2015 at 8:35 am
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    Thanks for the tip about waiting while the tree is still young. I wasn’t sure how to handle my tree during its first year. It has some branches hanging out that I’ve been tempted to cut. I’ll wait until next year.

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  • September 29, 2015 at 10:25 am
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    This is a great article! We have been helping my grandma trim down a bunch of her trees in her backyard, because they are literally towering over her house, and if parts of the tree were to collapse it would wreck havoc on the house. We had just started when we realized we have no idea what we are doing! It sounds like we need to make sure to leave branch stubs, rather than cutting off the whole branch collar. Thanks for sharing this bit of advice!

    Reply
  • September 29, 2015 at 8:49 am
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    I didn’t realize there was a set standard for tree pruning and other things! I will be sure to ask my tree care company if they conform to those standards. Right now, I am in need of tree removal though, not pruning. Hopefully I can find a company that can do it safely.

    Reply
  • September 28, 2015 at 12:43 pm
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    Looks like it’s just better in general to leave it to the pros. Too many things can go wrong, and let’s be honest, damaging your tree is not worth the cost of completely removing and replacing it. I’ll be looking for professionals in our area to prune our trees this spring!

    Reply
  • September 23, 2015 at 12:28 pm
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    Hey these are some great tips and guidelines. We have a lot of trees and plants in our backyard to help cool it because that Phoenix sun really heats up on some days. Do you have any tips and caring guidelines for palm tress? Thanks for the great article.

    Reply
  • September 22, 2015 at 2:59 pm
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    This guy looks like he is properly outfitted to trim trees. My neighbor recently had a tree cut down on the corner of his property. It was obscuring the street sign and getting tangled in the power lines. Thankfully, the problem has been fixed by removing the tree. What’s your favorite type of tree?

    Reply
  • September 15, 2015 at 7:27 pm
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    My husband and I recently moved to a home that has quite a bit of property. On our property there are a lot of trees! I had no idea that poor pruning could damage trees! Maybe we should look into hiring a professional so that we don’t do any accidental damage!

    Reply
  • September 15, 2015 at 10:25 am
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    I was not aware of the standards a tree should be cut. I was thinking about doing this myself. However, I think I will hire a professional. Thank you for the information.

    Reply
  • September 11, 2015 at 7:03 pm
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    It is really interesting to be able to see how many different things go into tree services. It is amazing how dangerous of a job this can actually be. Tree care is definitely something that seems like it should be left to the professionals. I have definitely never realized how many dangers there can be when it comes to things like this.

    Reply
  • September 11, 2015 at 6:35 pm
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    Knowing pruning dos and don’ts is something that more people should know about. Pruning a tree is something that can make sure that a tree is growing properly. That way you do not have to get tree removal services because things were not growing like they should. I have seen people that do not prune their trees properly and have to get their tree removed because of it.

    Reply
  • September 9, 2015 at 7:08 pm
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    Proper pruning is so important when it comes to taking care of your trees. If those breaking branches don’t get removed in time, they care fall and potentially cause damage to your property. When a tree gets any sort of virus, tree removal should be looking into so that other trees in the area aren’t affected as well.

    Reply
  • September 9, 2015 at 4:07 pm
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    I have this huge tree in my backyard, and I really need to prune in up. But I want to make sure I do all the right steps. So I really appreciate you talking about this, and letting me know about the do’s and don’ts when it comes to pruning. I’ll definitely remember these things when I start.

    Reply
  • September 8, 2015 at 7:10 pm
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    My husband and I just moved into a new home where there are a ton of tree surrounding us. We love it, but we have been struggling to know how to take care of them the best way. This list helps us have a bit of a guide to know where to start. I agree with this post that the best advice and help we get will be from professionals. Thanks for the information!

    Reply
  • September 3, 2015 at 4:56 pm
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    I have heard that if you prune a tree that doesn’t need it, you can really ruin the tree altogether. Pruning is helpful when the tree is all overgrown and looks messy but cutting it back too far can leave permanent damage. I think people just need to remember to be careful and not ruin the trees.

    Reply
  • September 3, 2015 at 10:59 am
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    The first step to successful pruning is timing it right. Shrubs that flower on new wood, or branches that form in spring and flower in summer rose-of-Sharon and summersweet are two should be pruned in late February or early March.

    Reply
  • September 1, 2015 at 5:44 pm
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    I had to tackle a pretty big project this summer. The tree was overgrown, but right over an electrical line. I called the electrical company and they turned the power off. The tree looks great, but the best part is I didn’t get electrocuted.

    Reply
  • September 1, 2015 at 9:53 am
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    It is interesting to learn that poor pruning can actually damage your tree permanently. Although, pruning is a necessary part of keeping trees healthy. Do you think I should always get a professional aborist to prune?

    Reply
  • August 20, 2015 at 10:48 am
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    Although, I know that pruning is important I am not quite sure how to do it. I would like to learn a little bit about how to do it more professionally. However, this article really points a few things I could be doing differently.

    Reply
  • August 20, 2015 at 10:16 am
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    I didn’t know you shouldn’t remove more that 25% of foliage during growing season. What if the tree is really overgrown and getting in the way? Would it actually hurt the health of the tree? Hopefully not, because one of my trees really needs to be pruned, and I worry that we may need to remove more than 25%.

    Reply
  • August 19, 2015 at 5:44 pm
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    Great article! I’ve been thinking about my trees, so I’m glad that you’ve listed some helpful tree care tips. I think you’re absolutely right: poor pruning can cause lasting damage to the tree; that’s why it’s important to hire a professional company that follows the American National Standards Institute process for tree pruning. Thanks for sharing this valuable information with us—it’s been very enlightening!

    Reply
  • August 19, 2015 at 2:53 pm
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    Many homeowners don’t realize that theirs pruning tree guidelines and standards. I hate to see a well-intentioned gardener injure their tree by pruning too many branches off of their tree. Some of these jobs should be left to professionals.

    Reply
  • August 18, 2015 at 6:23 pm
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    Thank you for sharing this post. I am not an expert on trees, so it was helpful to read through your list of dos and don’ts to help me better understand how to properly prune and care for my trees. Likewise, your advice to not prune a tree for the first year that it is planted was very helpful because I actually just planted a few new trees. I will definitely be sure to leave them alone, let them grow, and keep them healthy. Thank you again for sharing!

    Reply
  • August 16, 2015 at 10:57 am
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    the apple tree in the yard of my new home was pruned heavily and I don’t know if the cut back area should be treated to keep out bugs?

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  • August 13, 2015 at 5:06 pm
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    I like what you said about stripping the inner foliage. I didn’t know you are supposed to leave that alone and wouldn’t want to damage my tree. Thanks for taking the time to post these tips, I will keep them in mind.

    Reply
  • August 12, 2015 at 4:30 pm
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    I have never pruned a tree before but I am taking on a yard full of trees soon and I need to know exactly what to do. Pruning after the predicted storms, like you mentioned, is very helpful so I don’t have to do it over again. I will be leaving the trees closest to the electricity lines alone!

    Reply
    • October 24, 2015 at 10:19 am
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      What a gorgeous wekeend it was. The raspberry patch looks beautiful after it’s tidy up and hair cut. My raspberry patch is definitely popping with new growth now. When the weather is as fine as it has been the past two days one is looking for chores like pruning the raspberries just to have an excuse to be out and about in it!

      Reply
  • August 11, 2015 at 12:29 pm
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    I have been noticing that a few of my trees seem to be a bit burdened with all their heavy branches. One of my friends suggested that I try pruning them, but I want to be sure that I do it properly. If I end up pruning the trees on my own, I want to follow your suggestions, such as leaving branch stubs and using wound paint once I cut off the limbs. That way, I can ensure that my tree is still healthy and will continue to grow.

    Reply
  • August 10, 2015 at 11:26 am
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    This is good to know! I’m new to pruning, and I don’t want to be lopping off any part of the tree that doesn’t need to be. Where I live, I’ll especially make sure that the proper pruning is done before or after winter storms.

    Reply
  • August 10, 2015 at 11:11 am
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    Thanks for the tips for tree trimming. I have some trees near my home that are very tall and the branches are hitting the side of my home. I need to trim them and get rid of some of the branches. I may need to use a chain saw, so should I hire a service to do it?

    Reply
  • August 7, 2015 at 8:45 am
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    I did not know that you shouldn’t use tree spikes. I always assumed the tree could handle the minor punctures. If you think about it, most animals make smaller, but deeper holes in most trees and they do just fine. I guess I need to hire some professionals to prune my tree!

    Reply
  • August 6, 2015 at 3:01 pm
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    Proper tree assessment after a storm seems like a great way to take care of it. Storms can get really intense, so there may be a few branches that need to be trimmed before they fall off. That’s especially important if a heavier branch has been damaged, so removing it can help to protect other people.

    Reply
  • August 4, 2015 at 11:25 am
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    Thank you for the list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to pruning your tree’s. I really like the tip to not prune without a good reason. You might do more damage to your trees without knowing it. If you don’t know what you are doing, then you should leave it to the pro’s as the article say’s.

    Reply
  • July 29, 2015 at 12:59 pm
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    I agree that it’s important to ensure that a tree service follows the proper procedures and standards, as the article explains. These standards are set in place for a reason, which is that they ensure better and safer tree pruning. Knowing that the service follows these standards will allow you to be more at ease and confident in the process.

    Reply
  • July 28, 2015 at 12:03 pm
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    My wife and I just moved into a house, but there’s a large tree that hits the side of the house right outside our bedroom. On windy nights it can keep us up, so I’m trying to figure out if it’s something that I can do or if I should have a professional come out and trim it. You warned about utility poles, though, and I think it’s near one so we’ll have to find a good pro. Thanks for the post.

    Reply
  • July 26, 2015 at 7:14 pm
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    Since pruning can be bad for trees if overdone, I really like that you listed the ways that can cause this. It’s important to have a better idea of what you are doing before ever pruning a tree. I agree with Megan though, there’s no point in doing potential harm to the tree if you don’t even need to. Thanks for these tips! Short yet sweet.

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  • July 23, 2015 at 10:36 am
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    Your comment about not removing over 25% of foliage, was interesting. We have a huge tree in our backyard. We love it because it provides a lot of shade for our backyard, but it blocks the view of our mountains. We want to cut off a lot of the branches, but we don’t want to lose shade. I think we will contact a tree removal service and get their professional option. Thanks for sharing your comments.

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  • July 17, 2015 at 10:41 am
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    Thanks for these pruning dos and don’ts! I definitely agree that pruning without a good reason isn’t a good idea. I mean, it doesn’t even make sense. Why waste your time if it’s not even necessary? The post mentions that if you prune incorrectly, it can severely damage a tree. Can something like that cause the tree to die earlier?

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    • July 22, 2015 at 10:56 am
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      Yes. Incorrect pruning can make the tree more vulnerable to damage/disease, which can lead to tree death.

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    • October 24, 2015 at 11:40 am
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      Thank you for your video. i am from nepal i have around 250 orgnae tree but i have an problem to suppely water specelly at the dry season. do u have an best idea to supply water?And some tree dies when they are 4 years 5 years old, and orgnae are some of them r old and some of them r young.

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  • July 15, 2015 at 12:48 pm
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    Thanks for the tip about nor pruning a tree within its first year. One tree I recently planted has a branch sticking out separate from the rest and I want to trim it. I’ll be sure to wait until it is a little older. Great article!

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  • July 13, 2015 at 4:02 pm
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    I have three red oaks (I was told, though, I have never seen a red leaf in the fall). They were planted in the yard two years ago by our landscaper. I have to duck down to mow beneath them and know that they will have to be trimmed. I also have a lace bark elm and two burr oaks. All of these trees are relatively young. Would I be safe in removing lower branches at this time of the year? I live in Lubbock. Thank you for the help.

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  • July 8, 2015 at 12:33 pm
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    Thanks for the tips! My dad has a lot of trees in our backyard and a lot of them need to be pruned. My dad wants me to help him, so I’ll be sure to follow your rules like making sure they are the right kind of trees to be pruned, and to climb the tree with spiky climbing shoes.

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  • July 7, 2015 at 6:23 pm
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    Thanks for the great tips on pruning the trees, it will really help my clean up my yard. When you say don’t “cut off the branch collar,” does that mean I am supposed the branch off directly at the base? I don’t want to do lasting damage to my trees, so I need to be sure.

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    • July 8, 2015 at 10:07 am
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      Pruning cuts should be made just outside the branch collar, or the swollen place of attachment at the base of the branch. So your finished pruning cut will look like a small bump on the tree trunk. Even though it might look odd, this is how the tree wants to be treated so it can close the wound on its own in the fastest manner.

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  • July 7, 2015 at 12:09 pm
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    I have this huge fruit tree in my backyard, and I think it is about time to begin pruning. I really appreciate you giving me some information on the things that I should do, and not do when pruning a tree. But, do these tips still apply to a fruit tree?

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    • July 8, 2015 at 10:07 am
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      Before beginning any pruning operations, you need to have a reason why you are pruning. If this is an older fruit tree that has never been pruned, you will first want to prune the tree for safety and good structure. If you can do this from the ground without standing on a ladder, use a hand saw or polesaw/pruner to remove any dead, broken or crossing branches. For more information on good pruning cuts, check out the articles in our “Pruning” section.

      Then, you might want to have good fruit production. This second pruning method will need to be applied over several years to get good fruit. The key is to not prune all branches to the final stage all in one season. You will alter the growth pattern of the tree and it will not be the “pretty tree with beautiful fruit” that you are hoping for. Here are some guidelines:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ld4HI1d0coU&index=5&list=PL-jmA24YfXeFFdpoQuWzwnUrdVmzdoMDe

      You might want to get a qualified tree care provider onsite to give you some pointers.

      Reply
  • July 4, 2015 at 9:25 pm
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    Do you recommend using that stump removal stuff you buy at Menards for like like a 7 inch stump?

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  • June 29, 2015 at 12:20 pm
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    Good tips! My favorite tip is “Don’t prune without a good reason” haha! Sounds like a really zen practice while dealing with something dangerous. They are all good tips though! I have a tree that is overgrowing quickly and hitting out house. I don’t really like it, but we have been pruning it regularly. I think that it’s time to remove it. Do you have any tips about how to do that safely?

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    • July 8, 2015 at 9:16 am
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      Chase, your best bet is to hire a professional to remove the tree for you. It can be dangerous otherwise, especially if the tree is that close to your house!

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  • June 24, 2015 at 4:17 pm
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    I have quite a few trees on my property, so I would love to take this advice and use it to help my trees be healthier. I know that I should get some pruning done soon, but I am concerned that I don’t know how to do it correctly. It would be really good for me to look more into these different standards that you talk about here, just to be sure that I know about pruning procedures and what tools are needed and how to prune properly. However, if I go through these guides and still feel a bit wary about doing this on my own, I think I will probably end up trying to find a professional that can get it done for me!

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  • June 23, 2015 at 1:38 pm
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    I like your list of don’ts. I’ve seen bad trimming jobs where there was no need. The worst thing to see is when someone risks their safety to trim a tree that doesn’t need it. Ladders carry a big risk and it is easy to have an injury. Your tips are very helpful and a good reminder.

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  • June 23, 2015 at 10:07 am
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    Thanks for the helpful advice. The trees I’m interested in pruning all require ladders, so I think I’ll follow your suggestion and call in a professional tree service. My trees really are gorgeous, they’re just getting a little wild and overgrown. I think having them pruned will really make a difference. Great tips!

    Reply
  • June 22, 2015 at 2:16 pm
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    I actually didn’t realize that there are standards that tree care company would need to follow when pruning. It’s nice that I found that out now, since I might be calling a few different companies to see if they’d be able to come and take care of a few trees for me. I’ll definitely have to be sure to ask if they follow the standards or not before hiring them!

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  • June 22, 2015 at 10:33 am
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    I don’t know much about trees, but I do know that my trees need pruning and trimming. They look scraggly and out of control. Cutting with the right tools is also key to making your yard look good. I like your comment about leaving it to the pros. My trees are way too tall for me to reach and I don’t have the right equipment to fully trim my trees, so I think I will higher someone to do it.

    Reply
  • June 18, 2015 at 7:23 pm
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    I’m glad that you put down trying to prune a tree that requires a chainsaw on a ladder as something that homeowners shouldn’t do on this list. There have been a few times when I tried to use a chainsaw to lop off a few branches from a tree. I thought that I was about to lose a hand whenever I got anywhere near a chainsaw, so I would be better off relying on a professional to prune my trees from now on. That seems like a good way to help me keep my hand. Thanks for the tips!

    Reply
  • June 17, 2015 at 1:49 pm
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    I had no idea that you had to be so careful with pruning. I didn’t know that poor pruning could actually hurt a tree for the rest of its life. I’ll be sure to follow your tips to make sure that my trees are always cared for. Thanks for sharing this.

    Reply
  • June 12, 2015 at 10:38 am
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    Thank you for this little information. I have a tree that needs some trimming work down, but not quite sure what to look for. There seems to be a lot more “don’t” than there are “do’s,” which makes me believe that what I do might not be the best move. I will most likely have to find a tree lopping service to clean it up.

    Reply
  • June 11, 2015 at 1:40 pm
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    This is good to know. I’m planning on planting a few trees in my backyard in hopes that they’ll grow and provide shade, and it would be my first time doing it. This is really good info, and I think after the first year of planting, I’ll hire a tree service to prune for me so I can see how it’s done. I’ll make sure they prune according to ANSI A300. Thanks so much for the info!

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  • June 10, 2015 at 4:22 pm
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    I really appreciate this tree pruning advice. A few weeks ago I moved into a new home, and it has some nice trees in the backyard. I’m not very knowledgeable when it comes to tree lopping, so I thought I should do some research on the subject. Your advice to ask an arborist or tree care company if they prune according to the American National Standards Institute for tree pruning was very helpful. I’ll be sure to do that.

    Reply
    • August 14, 2016 at 10:55 pm
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      Often getting a professional in is cheaper in the long term than pruning incorrectly.

      Reply
  • June 8, 2015 at 6:26 pm
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    Thanks for the information. After reading this, it seems like I really don’t know much about dealing with trees! I’ve been thinking that one of the trees in my front yard isn’t doing so well. It’s probably time to have it removed. I’m going to follow your tip about making sure I hire a professional. While they’re at it, they can prune my other trees!

    Reply
    • July 10, 2015 at 3:59 pm
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      Mia, I definitely know how you feel! I had no idea that tree pruning was so structured and intense. This seems like one job that would actually be pretty difficult. I am also in the same boat with having damaged trees in my yard. Getting professional help with something like this definitely seems like a good idea.

      Reply
    • September 28, 2016 at 7:58 am
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      Hi Mia Boyd I would like to tell you before you removing your tree from your yard just take a few suggestions from http://www.arboristtreeondemand.com they will suggest you better they are professional in this tree treatment line

      Reply
  • May 13, 2015 at 2:21 pm
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    Thanks for the information! I’m never sure if I’m pruning my trees correctly, so this information will help me know what I’m doing right and what I’m doing wrong. The third tip to avoid pruning newly planted trees in the first year will help to keep my trees more healthy. I’ve planted a couple of new trees in my yard a few weeks ago. I was debating whether they needed to be pruned, so it’s good to know that the only time I should prune them in the first year is to cut off dead or broken branches.

    Reply

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