The pruning steps that you need to make in order to maintain a tree growing in your yard healthy depends not only on the tools you have but also on the age of your tree. You will have to perform a different type of tree trimming & pruning during the different life stages of your tree.
Pruning right after you plant a tree in your yard.
- You will have to leave as much of the entire leaf surface as possible in order to help the tree later produce enough food to build a larger underground root system.
- Prune any broken limbs or branches competing with the leader, remove any tree tags, or branches which are swollen from insect stings or eggs.
- Trim the tree as close to the trunk as possible.
Pruning after the tree’s 3rd and before its 4th year.
- By that time, the root system of your tree should have developed well if proper pruning was done during the first 2 years. You will now have to remove all of the root suckers and sprout in the tree’s crown.
- The next parts of the young tree to be pruned should be all excessive branches or limbs that are too thin to grow well. This way, you will help other branches that are currently competing with the smaller ones for water, nutrients, and light.
- Get the co-dominant stem removed. There should be only 1 leader left.
- Get the narrow-angled branches removed.
- Cut some of the low branches which will not be productive, but make sure to leave some that will help the trunk of the tree to develop later.
- Cut all of the branches which do not grow in “the right direction”.
For tips about pruning older trees, read the second part of our post next week!