Redbuds are one of the most popular species of ornamental trees. Their white and pink flowers and dark green foliage brighten yards and attract compliments. But, like any other tree, the redbud is susceptible to damage and disease. Heavy winter freezes can kill off its limbs. And sometimes disease warrants their removal. Whatever the cause of your redbud limb's death, remove it quickly. Dead branches can fall at any time and are hazardous.
Reduce the weight of large limbs. If a branch is large and heavy, it may tear away from the tree as you are cutting. And the wound that it leaves behind will be highly susceptible to insect infestation and disease. To avoid this, saw off the branch at a point 12 to 18 inches away from the trunk of the tree to lighten it.
Remove the branch completely. Take more care with the second cut to make sure that you leave behind a clean, healthy wound. Make the cut just past the root collar (the swollen area just beyond the trunk of the tree that contains specialized cells that help to seal pruning wounds). Saw through the branch from the top down until you are roughly halfway through the branch. Then saw from the bottom up to remove the branch completely.
Remove dead branches that are under 2 inches in diameter with a sharp pair of lopping shears. There's no need to reduce the weight of these branches. Simply prune them cleanly just past the branch collar of the tree.
Wipe your tool down with alcohol after every cut. This will prevent the spread of disease.