Step by Step Guides

How to prune a tree
Written by Andrea DeLong-Amaya photographs by In Churl Yo.
Adapted from Native Plants Magazine Winter 2003 VOL. 20, NO. 2.

Step 1

Collect the tools you will need, including saw, loppers, gloves, and eye protection.


Step 2

Remove small branches from the tree's larger limb to diminish its weight and surface area.


Step 3

Make an undercut about six inches away from the tree's main trunk. Cut one-third of the way through the limb from below.


Step 4

Make a severance cut from above to match the outer side of the undercut, about six inches away from the tree's main trunk.


Step 5

Make a clean cut just outside of the branch collar, the swollen part at the base of the limb as it attaches to the main trunk.


Step 6

Use pruning paint if the tree is susceptible to attack by tree-boring insects.

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