Fremont Cottonwood trees add an element of beauty to a landscape or garden with their varying shades of green, fall colors and sprawling branches. They also provide shade for warmer climates and a sturdy trunk for holding hammocks or tire swings for children. For centuries they were used by Native Americans as carving material and were valued as sacred for their soft bark and woody aroma when they were used for fires. It is important to do the majority of pruning for these trees during the winter season when it is dormant.
Trim back suckers or twiggy growth at anytime during spring or summer season with pruning scissors and shears, trimming them back to the base of the tree.
Put on gloves and protective eyewear, especially when cutting down taller branches. Use a pruning saw (for limbs thicker then 9 inches) or pruning shears for less than that width to remove dead or broken limbs from the tree during the winter season. Fremont Cottonwood trees are not susceptible to disease or insects, so it is not necessary to keep an eye out for diseased branches.
Cut these branches right back to the wrinkled bark of the tree where the trunk connects to the limb. This will help the tree heal more quickly so it can promote new growth. Use a saw to reach branches high up.
Use pruning shears to remove small shoots or suckers that are less then 8 inches long, growing up from the ground around the base of the trunk or on lower areas of the trunk from where they tend to sprout.