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 Last Update 02/04/07
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Adopting proper pruning techniques is vital for the health of the tree.   Cuts should be made at the point where two branches meet (known as a node).   Cuts made in the middle of a branch (internodal cuts) can result in unhealthy regrowth and slow wound closure.  


Where To Make Your Cut
The area where the branch meets a major limb is characterized by two features the branch collar and the branch bark ridge.  The branch collar is underneath the branch, while the branch bark ridge is above it.  This is the point where branches would naturally be lost.  When pruning a branch, it is important to make a cut as close as possible to these features without actually cutting them.  Cutting into the branch collar will promote decay in the main stem as it takes longer for the tree to close such a wound. 


Larger Limbs
For larger limbs, special care is required to prevent damage to the tree.  If a cut is made from the branch ridge directly through to the branch collar, often the limbs weight will cause it to rip away from the stem leading to a large slow-closing wound.  Therefore, first a small undercut should be performed a small distance (maybe 5cm) away from the collar.  Then, a clean topcut can be made on the outside of the undercut (away from the stem).  Finally, a clean cut can be made just outside the branch collar.



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