How to Prune a Tall Tree


Pruning trees has several advantages. First, tree health improves when you remove dead or diseased branches. Second, cutting branches away from power lines, rooftops and other structures ensures safety. Finally, pruning trees allows you to maintain the shape you desire, guaranteeing you'll have a beautiful specimen for years. Various tools make pruning tall trees easier and safer. Pole pruners or extending chain saws are valuable for tackling this job.

Step 1

Examine the tree to determine the main branches you will prune. Choose branches that are diseased or dead, branches that threaten roofs or power lines, or branches that defy the overall shape of the canopy. Put on eye protection and gloves.

Step 2

Extend the pole pruner to the necessary length by loosening the adjustment piece, and pulling the shaft outward. Lock the shaft into place by tightening the adjustment piece.

Step 3

Place the pole pruner blade on the branch, angling it away from the tree trunk. Remember never to remove more than a quarter of the tree's overall height at any single pruning session.

Step 4

Raise the blade up, then sharply pull down in a firm, succinct motion. Continue this motion until the branch is nearly severed.

Step 5

Assess the direction in which the branch will fall, and position yourself outside that area. Finalize the cutting, always focusing on where the branch is most likely to land.

Step 6

Remove the fallen branch, and move on to the next section of tree to be cut.

Tips and Warnings

  • Refrain from pruning on windy days. Never place the pole pruner near electrical wires. Clear the area of people before beginning.

Things You'll Need

  • Pole pruners
  • Eye protection
  • Gloves


  • Step-by-Step Pruning
  • Pruning Trees
Keywords: prune a tall tree, pole pruners, pruning trees

About this Author

Lisa Larsen has been a professional writer for 18 years. She has written radio advertisement copy, research papers, SEO articles, magazine articles for "BIKE," "USA Today" and "Dirt Rag," newspaper articles for "Florida Today," and short stories published in Glimmer Train and Lullwater Review, among others. She has a master's degree in education, and is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.