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We often need to alter a tree's shape, either to make it suit us better or for its own good. Pruning properly will do much to improve the looks and health of your trees.

Formative Pruning
This can be a huge money saver over the years and vastly improve the look of a tree. Basically if a young tree contains defects, a quick prune at the right time will often correct things completely making for a stronger, healthier and longer lived tree. If you don't know about pruning, call in an expert. Your money will be well invested.

Prune at the ideal time of year
As a rough guide if a tree is sickly it will be best to prune it either when fully dormant (winter) or when fully active (summer) as then the pruning is likely to cause less stress. However certain species have their own rules (e.g. prune cherries in midsummer only) and if you are worried about a tree best check up.

Prune correctly
You must aim to cut a tree back to points where the tree is most capable of coping with the damage. Trees cut in the wrong places usually suffer some die back and sometimes get fatal rot infections. A qualified tree
surgeon knows how to avoid this.

Branch pruning

This is the correct sequence of cuts to remove a branch. Cuts 1 & 2 remove the branch without any tearing of bark. Cut 3 is made at the "branch collar".

tree branch pruning

The branch collar is where the branch would naturally die back to. In this case it is quite easy to spot, Other species can require a more expert eye.


The use of wound dressings on pruning cuts is generally avoided these days as it is generally inappropriate and often actually hastens infections.

If you fancy pruning your own trees, there are many good books on pruning techniques. If you are inexperienced it is a really good investment to get one. Arboricultural internet sites will often contain diagrams on how to prune.
Links to these may be found at

Be prepared to replace a tree if it outlives its usefulness or the site use changes and makes the tree no longer suitable. Trying to retain an unsuitable tree can be expensive and even dangerous. Pruning is not always a long-term solution, even if you are very attached to a tree. If in doubt over whether a tree should be retained, call in a qualified arboriculturist.

Quick contact: Tel: 01249 701836/ Mobile: 07891 986663