There can be a number of reasons why you would want to prune a tree, varying from safety, to health and aesthetics, and with the right tools such as a tree pruner and some basic safety precautions, it can be easily done without resulting to the other options; such as that of hiring a gardener. Before starting, it must be kept in mind that even if a ladder seems like a necessary tool, in reality using one can be extremely dangerous. Instead use tree pruners with telescopic extendable poles to reach those high branches while your feet are well planted safely on the ground.
Step 1: Initial Planning
Before starting you have to have a clear idea of how you want the finished product to look. Locate the branches that are diseased, damaged, dead, rubbing against each other or that look out of place. Remember that once you cut a branch you cannot reattach it back in place and therefore good planning is required.
Step 2: Choose The Right Time
It is easier to shape the tree when there aren’t a lot of leaves blocking your view. Best season therefore to prune your trees would be during winter or early spring when the tree would have shed most of not all its leaves.
Step 3: Take Hold Of The Appropriate Tree Pruner
Once having a clear plan, get the tree pruner and lift it slowly towards the branch you want to cut. Some pruners have their blade folded inwards for safety. Make sure to unfold it if you have such a pruner and tighten the blot to keep the blade in place. For bushes, pruning shears can be used. These open and close just like a pair of scissors. For branches that are too high, unscrew the telescopic pole pruner and extend until required height. Screw back tightly the pole so that it stays extended. Even if the telescopic extendible pruner looks easy to use, it can get stressful on your back.
Step 4: Only Use Pruners Which Have Sharp Blades
In case of a pruner that has its blade housed in a hook and is attached to a rope, place the pruner close to the branch and pull the rope so that the blade cuts through the branch. Make sure that the blade is sharp as dull blades will give a jagged edge rather than smooth cut. In case of tree pruners that have a saw blade, start sawing the branch as if you are using a normal hand saw.
Step 5: Prune Inside The Node
If you want a shorter branch, it is advisable to prune inside the node, whereas pruning the branch outside the node will give you a longer branch. Do not fall into the temptation of cutting a branch too close to the tree when pruning as the tree will heal quicker when a little bit of the branch is left.
With these simple steps you are sure to manage pruning your trees and getting the desired results. Always remember not to stand underneath the branch you are cutting and always wear proper protective gloves and eye wear to protect your hands and face.