How to properly
prune a limb off a tree.
Small pruning jobs can bring extra money into your lawn care / landscaping business. In today’s example, we have a branch that
has been damaged. The bark is peeling away from the subwood. The entire limb is
dead and needs to be pruned off to maintain the health of the tree. Read
the directions below the video window.
This tree limb is joined at a collared union
This limb is joined at a collared union.
The bark of the tree poofs out as the limb come out of the tree. The poofed out
part is the collar. All cuts at a collared union should be on the branch side of
the collar. You should never cut into the collar of a tree. Cutting into a
collar can do severe damage to the tree.
If this branch were smaller, we could use a pair of anvil loppers to prune away
the branch. Since it is so large, our anvils will not produce a correct cut. For
this branch we are going to use a bow saw. A pruning saw will work too.
Proper pruning: Three Cut Method
The proper method of cutting a branch with
a saw is to use the three-cut method of pruning. If you just use the saw and cut
it at the collar, the weight of the branch will pull down and you risk tearing
the collar damaging the tree. We are going to use the three-cut method.
The first cut is made on the underside of the branch about 5 inches away from
the collar. Cut the branch about 1/4 way through.
Underside Pruning Cut
The second cut is made about 2 inches
further away from the collar than the underside cut. As you can see in the
video, while making the top cut the branch fell downward before the cut was
complete. This action tore the underside of the branch to the underside cut. If
we had not made the underside cut, the tear may have proceeded to the collar and
damaged the health wood inside. The underside cut protected the collar.
After the main branch is cut away, you can make a third cut just outside of the
collar to cut away the remaining stub to finish your pruning job.
On some pruning cuts, you may need to use
an arborists’ sealer to protect against insects and disease. However, since we
made this pruning cut during the cold season, we are not going to seal the cut.
Lawn Care / Landscaping Pricing Guidance
For more information on how to start a lawn
care and landscaping business, check out our lawn care business program found