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Steps in Tree Pruning

Tree pruning plays a significant role in keeping trees healthy and aesthetically pleasing. Moreover, having the right tools and proper techniques is an integral part of proper tree pruning. In fact, poor pruning can actually harm your tree and leave it vulnerable to many diseases and rotting.

If you want to prune your trees and thin foliage yourself, learning the proper methods will give you a headstart. Here are the steps in tree pruning, as utilised by expert arborists from Trees Down Under.

Choose the Best Time

Firstly, you should determine why you want to prune your trees. Will you use the tree for shade? Do you want it to yield more fruit? Knowing the purpose of pruning will give you a good idea of choosing the best time.

Additionally, you must be careful in picking the time to prune. This is because your purpose in pruning will be affected significantly by the season. A tree’s growth and wound closure can be optimised if pruning is done right before the spring growth spurt during the late winter seasons. 

Removing dead and diseased limbs can be done at any time of the year, favourably during summer, considering that only small portions are pruned. However, larger branches equal larger wounds, so make sure that they have healed before the harsh winter environment arrives.

Analyse the Tree

Take a closer look at your tree’s branches. The limbs might give you an idea about its growth pattern so you can prune it to your desired shape. You must imagine how the tree should look like after you pruned it to avoid unnecessary trims and prunes.

Furthermore, you should identify the major branches as well as the partially damaged ones.

  • Major branches ‒ These are the branches that make up the skeleton or framework of the tree. Since these limbs grow to form the main structure of the tree, you must not remove them while pruning.
  • Damaged/Diseased branches ‒ These are branches that show signs of damage, weakness, and decay. Weak branches can fall off anytime, exposing you to many severe hazards. These should be removed as soon as you find them.

Select the Pruning Areas

Now that you have identified which branches to prune and which should not, it’s time to select the areas to start pruning. 

Most arborists prune thick sections first to enhance sunlight and uniform air circulation across the tree. The same is achieved if you cut the branches that cross over. Moreover, cutting large limbs requires proper pruning methods to make sure the cuts are clean, and healing is optimised.

Branches that are too close to each other will hinder sunlight and airflow and cause fungal growth. So you should prune the branches that are inching towards the centre of the tree. These limbs particularly create clutter, and removing them will improve the tree’s health.

Prune Obstructing Branches

Hazards and potential risks are other reasons why trees should be pruned. That’s why you need to eliminate branches and foliage that are obstructing vision and driveways. 

Low-lying and hanging branches could block out pedestrian pathways. At the same time, higher limbs can disrupt telephone and utility lines and threaten your house. This makes it very necessary to prune out annoying and stubborn branches and use proper pruning tools to avoid permanent damage to your trees and your property.

Things to Remember When Pruning

Typically, as you go through pruning, you tend to lose the natural shape of the tree. You should be careful and only prune the tree to keep its form. If you wish to provide it with a round shape or other distinct shapes, you might need to prune the branches and foliage at certain angles. 

Furthermore, you should minimise the pruning process as much as you can. Every small cut will make a huge difference to the growth of your tree. Large wounds will act as access points for fungal infestations and insect infections. So make sure to do it when there is no spread of tree infections and diseases.

Finally, for any tree type and season, you must not remove more than 30 per cent of foliage. If a pruned limb is large enough to carry around 30 per cent of living tissues, then you are done for that season.


Following the proper steps in tree pruning will not only preserve your tree’s health but will also escalate your landscape’s elegance. Pruning should be done once every favourable season as it is a maintenance and safety check that’s vital for foliages within residential and commercial areas.

Trees Down Under have the tools and knowledge about tree pruning and will give you that much wanted peace of mind. So you can get back to your day without worrying about your trees. We know that nothing is more important than making sure that your trees are growing up healthy and abundant. 

Our team of expert arborists has been serving households and commercial spaces across Sydney’s Northern Suburbs. Let us level up your landscape and make it stand out, lush and lovely.

Call us at 0475 463 597, or email us at info@treesdownunder.com.au, for a free quote. Let us give you the best solution for your garden.

Trees Down Under