Trees are known to grow indefinitely, that is, they do not have any definite height that they could reach which means that they grow throughout their lifetime and this is one thing that makes them different from we humans.
When you plant a tree in any place, they grow quite slowly and this makes it very hard to pay attention to the rate at which they grow, when they reach an obvious and distinct size, they become more appealing to the eye and they may reach heights where they need to be controlled.
When these plants grow and attain this obvious height, the rate at which they grow taller reduces drastically and they begin to spread more and the branches start to develop longer and wider.
As beautiful as these plants may look or how gigantic they may seem, there is always a need to control them once they begin to reach heights that are not convenient for the environment, like when they reach the wire pole, reach the rooftops, and lots more, they need to be controlled and taken care of.
When trees grow taller and they spread wider, there is a need to curb these growths through what is known as pruning and there are some things that need to be put in place for this to be possible.
In most cases, it is always advisable not to allow your tree to grow taller before you control it’s growth as you will be able to prune it to avoid it’s excessive growth and also define the form that it will take when it begins to grow taller and wider.
Another thing is that plants are different from one another and the way you will handle these trees will be different from one to the other so you need to pay attention to the details of this article so that you can understand what to do at the right time.
If you have been having issues with the height and width of your plant and you are yet to find the perfect way to prune it and control its height, this is the best place for you to learn.
In this article, we will take you through the way through which you can prune your tree so as to keep it small at the desired form throughout its life.
Table of Contents
- 1 What are the Materials Needed for Pruning Trees?
- 2 How to Prune Tree to Keep them Small
- 2.1 Decide on why you want to prune:
- 2.2 Tree Assessment:
- 2.3 Identification of the tree’s major branches:
- 2.4 Removal of “damaged” branches:
- 2.5 Remove branches that are too thick and clustered at a point:
- 2.6 Prune branches that serve as obstruction:
- 2.7 Prune to shape the tree:
- 2.8 Prune during the dormant seasons of the year:
- 2.9 Make a cut at the underside of the branch:
- 2.10 Make a second cut:
- 2.11 Remove the stub:
- 2.12 Clean your pruning equipment:
- 3 Conclusion
What are the Materials Needed for Pruning Trees?
There are some equipment or materials that need to be available for pruning to be practiced successfully at any point in time.
The equipment that we will be mentioning here is very essential and we will talk about some materials that are needed so that your plant will be safe whenever you prune it.
If you are planning to prune your plant anytime soon, you should have this equipment and materials in place. Below are some of the equipments and materials:
Pruning shears: these are scissors-like equipment that is used for cutting slightly thick plant branches.
Handsaw: they are used for cutting through hard matured branches. They are usually used when trees have grown too old.
Disinfectants: this substance is used for cleaning the equipment’s body so as to get rid of disease parts. Examples include household disinfectant, rubbing alcohol, one part water to nine-part chlorine, etc. This is usually done after the last pruning and it helps to protect the plant from diseases or infection.
White Latex paint: used for painting damaged plant parts.
How to Prune Tree to Keep them Small
There are several things that need to be done and noted when you want to prune your tree and we will be discussing the various steps through which you can prune your tree to keep them small here.
Pruning helps to keep trees strong, neat, and attractive at all times. For pruning to be easy and for the tree to grow well even after pruning, it is important that you start pruning at a very small age.
You should read further to know more about how you can prune trees to keep them small.
Decide on why you want to prune:
Although this might not be considered as an important part of pruning, it is yet one of the most significant parts of reducing your plant size.
You must have a set goal that you want to achieve by pruning your tree and you must decide on what you want to achieve even before you begin at all.
This is also when you should decide when (either during winter or summer) and how you want to go about it.
You must assess the tree that you want to prune before you start. You must spend some time looking into the size and shape of the tree and you must decide what you want your tree to look like when you are done pruning.
This will give you the chance to look into everything related to the form of the tree and the final result that you would live to have.
Identification of the tree’s major branches:
This is when you need to look into the architecture of the tree and you must identify the major branches of the tree.
The major branches that make up the tree must be identified and they must be avoided at all costs when you decide to prune.
Removal of “damaged” branches:
The tree branches that are damaged on the tree must be removed at all costs. These branches take up water and nutrients that could have been used for the growth and development of a strong and healthy plant part.
Getting rid of these damaged structures will help to improve the tree’s growth.
Remove branches that are too thick and clustered at a point:
If you have branches that are intertwined within one spot and it looks overpopulated, the best thing to do is to cut them off. You should also cut out branches that grow inwards so that air can circulate well through the plant’s body.
Prune branches that serve as obstruction:
If there is a branch that serves as obstruction where it is grown you need to get rid of it as much as possible. The branches of this tree that create the obstruction must be gotten rid of as quickly as possible.
Prune to shape the tree:
You must prune your tree to your desired shape and form, if you want your tree to be more rounded or neater, you should prune towards that shape.
You must take care of your tree in accordance with your desire and want. Another important thing you should note when pruning is that you should avoid heavy pruning.
You must also make sure that you do not remove more than 25% of the tree’s branches so that they can survive very well even after you are done.
Prune during the dormant seasons of the year:
You must choose the best time to prune your tree and the most suitable time for pruning is during late fall and early winter as this places less stress on the tree.
When you prune during this period, it is less likely that your tree is going to be infected by fungus or insects at this period of the year.
To know when the tree is dormant, the leaves must have fallen off the tree during early spring. And once a branch gets broken by wind or thunder at any point in time, you should immediately prune so as to allow healthy growth.
Make a cut at the underside of the branch:
When you are cutting for the very first time, make sure that you do not cut all the way into the branch of the tree, make sure that it does not cut through.
This is done so as to prevent the weight of the branch from coming against the plant’s trunk. This should be done so that the plant’s branch can fall easily without harming the other plant’s part.
Make a second cut:
The second cut should be done on the exterior part of the plant’s branches and this will leave a stub as the remainder of the branch’s attachment to the tree.
Remove the stub:
The stub is usually very close to the stem’s collar and you need to cut it away without hurting your plant in any way. Make sure that the stem collar is intact and this part must not be harmed from the cut.
Clean your pruning equipment:
In most cases, pruning is not done once and considered all. You might need to carry this out for about three years and this is why you need to care for your equipment.
Use disinfectant to clean your equipment when you are done so as to make it convenient to use some other time.
Properly pruning your tree to your desired height and size all depends on you and you must always pay attention to the things that are mentioned above for a successful and safe pruning practice.
You must be ready to follow these steps to letter and avoid all the things that can damage your plant’s health, growth pattern, and development.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article !