As you care for trees in a landscape, you must perform some degree of pruning to keep your trees healthy and attractive. When you must cut a tree limb, follow a specific process to prevent injuring or damaging the tree. Because trees react to pruning wounds by exuding sap, a proper cut will minimize stress on the tree and help it recover from the wound. Cut a tree limb carefully and your tree will heal and continue to thrive.
Cut the first pruning cut on the branch from the bottom of the branch. Use the saw pruner to cut into the branch from the bottom, approximately halfway through the branch. Make this cut along the branch, between 1 and 2 feet from the trunk of the tree.
Create the second pruning cut on the branch from the top of the branch. Use the saw pruner to cut into the branch from the top this time, again cutting approximately halfway through the branch. Make this cut approximately 3 inches further away from the trunk of the tree than the first cut.
Stand back and be ready for the branch to break as soon as you complete the second cut. The branch will break between the first and second cuts. Keep people away in anticipation of the branch falling.
Cut the final pruning cut after the majority of the branch falls. Make this cut on the outside of the branch collar (between 3 and 5 inches away from the trunk--you can determine the width of the branch collar by the natural swell of the branch where it connects with the trunk of the tree). Make the angle of the cut upward to minimize water collecting inside the open wound. The tree will heal faster with a slanted cut.