Now that your trees have had some time to stretch their branches, you may find that they need a trim. Pruning your trees not only helps distribute nutrients to the more lively and important branches, but you can also prevent future damage to both the tree and any obstacles that might get in the branches’ way.
It is important to purchase a good set of pruning shears. The size of the sheers depends on what you plan to use them for. For small bushes and trees, it’s easier to use a handheld pair of shears that are for smaller-scale use. For larger trees, use extended sheers so you are able to get to those hard-to-reach places.
If you are dealing with larger trees, a ladder will come in handy. Whether you own one or are borrowing it from a neighbor, be sure to practice good ladder safety and have another person outside with you. Also, a pair of gloves can be invaluable. They will help you avoid nasty cuts and splinters, as well as prevent blisters by giving your hands extra padding.
Think Twice Before You Cut Once
Have a plan before you start pruning. Look for the branches that serve as the “skeleton” for the tree: these branches usually are a base for other smaller branches. If they are healthy, you should avoid cutting them.
Start small by looking for branches that have already been damaged by the elements or those that look unhealthy. After removing those, look for clusters of branches that seem to be vying for nutrients or branches that are too close together. It is important to give each branch enough space to flourish.
If you wish to shape the tree do so with great caution. Do not over-prune, as you may cause more damage than you intended.