How to Prune Beech Trees

Overview

Beeches are smooth-barked trees mainly grown in the eastern United States. They have shallow roots and can grow up to 100 feet tall is good conditions. Beech trees do not grow perfectly and sometimes require pruning to stay healthy or keep growing upward. The trimming requires some hard work, tools and a little knowledge about what to cut.

Step 1

Place the tree trimmer tool on the branch that needs to be cut. Select branches that are dead or diseased as well as several others such as branches that are larger than those below it. Also cut out one of the two branches at the top of the tree, if the tree is forming a forked top. Forked treetops are weak and will eventually split. For diseased trees, you don't have to cut out the entire branch. Cut about a foot below the diseased area to make sure you remove the infection.

Step 2

Cut through large branches with a chain saw. Place the saw in the same location you would a trimmer. Move a chain saw out a few inches from the base of the tree to avoid damage to the tree, and have someone nearby in case of injury.

Step 3

Saw in a back-and-forth motion to cut through the branch, using a chain saw. If the diameter of the branch is small, loppers might be able to cut a little quicker. If cutting off the entire branch, leave a small nub next to the trunk of the tree by placing the trimmer at least an inch away from the base. This will keep the trunk from getting accidentally damaged. For loppers, put in position and squeeze the handles together quickly to snip through the branch.

Step 4

Clip off splintered wood with loppers. Sometimes when cutting with trimmers, the branch might start to break off before you finish cutting all the way through. This can cause the wood to splinter and leave a jagged edge where you cut. Loppers leave a smoother cut.

Tips and Warnings

  • Wear eye protection to shield eyes from debris that might fall from the tree as you are pruning. Gloves will protect hands from scrapes, as will long-sleeve shirts.

Things You'll Need

  • Tree trimmer
  • Loppers
  • Chain saw

References

  • Chiltern Woodlands Project: Pruning Your Trees
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Pruning Trees and Shrubs
Keywords: prune beech trees, trim beech trees, beech tree care