Hickory trees add a beautiful touch to a home's landscape, but it is important to carry out proper maintenance to ensure the trees don't become a nuisance or a safety hazard. It is best to prune a hickory tree, and other large trees, during the dormant season or immediately after a growth flush.
Step 1 – Choose Best Time
You can prune hickory trees at other times of the year, but don't prune when the tree comes out of dormancy or are about to enter dormancy.
Step 2 – Prune the Collar
Using a saw, cut the branch you want to remove at the "collar." Make sure you don't cut into the trunk and damage the tree. If you accumulate any dead or diseased wood in the process of pruning, remove it immediately.
Step 3 – Thin Out Branches
Remove branches that rub against one another, and leave pruning wounds to heal on their own. You do not have to treat them with any commercial products, as the tree will heal the cuts without any assistance.
Pruning is necessary to remove diseased or storm-damaged branches, to thin the crown for better air circulation, to encourage new growth and to remove lower branches that may be getting in the way. It is also helpful to shape a tree or reduce its height.