Tree pruning is the art of cutting or removing unwanted plant growth to make the plant grow or behave the way we want it to.
OBJECTIVES OF TREE PRUNING
1. Removal of diseased or broken branches;
2. Removal of tree parts which will inhibit the proper growth of tree such as when one limb nubs on another limb;
3. Removal of branches to allow adequate light, to promote better fruit production and to allow wind to pass through the tree canopy;
4. Trim trees to prevent interference with electric or telephone lines (or cable TV);
5. Encourage/increase flowering and fruit production; decrease the number of fruit so larger fruits are produced;
6. Rejuvenate old plants (or trees with good coppicing ability); and,
7. Create special effects and shapes; enhance the natural lines of a tree or shape a plant to accommodate space.
Tree pruning, if done correctly, will enhance the beauty and production of a tree without causing damage and infection to the tree. Frequently, people prune a tree by cutting branches with a bolo without thought to what will happen to the cut portion of the tree. If the branch stump is not properly pruned, there is a good chance of infection to set in. Once the infection starts in the tree, it can travel to the trunk and eventually kill the tree. The damage will generally not be seen from the outside of the tree.
THE IDEAL TIME FOR PRUNING
1. After the harvest season for fruit bearing trees
2. Before the rainy season for light pruning or trimming
3. Two to three months before the rainy season for rejuvenation
4. When infection, infestation, objectionable branches and damages are noted.
PROPER TOOLS FOR TREE PRUNING
There are a number of tools which are used to prune trees. These range in size from a small hand-held pruning shears to large pole cutters and chain saws. The size of the branch, the height above the ground and the reason for pruning will determine which tool to use.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF TREE-PRUNING TECHNIQUES
6. In reforestation projects (unnecessary branches and the double stem)
7. Pruning for rejuvenation
When pruning the main trunk for rejuvenation, make a slanting cut through the trunk so water will nun off the cut. If possible, paint the cut with coal tar.