How To Maintain Trees Around Your Home & Why – Part 2


Continuing on from our article, ‘How To Maintain Trees Around Your Home & Why – Part 1’, here’s part 2.


Pruning Tips

Tree pruning is essential to keep your trees healthy, looking great and safe by preventing dropping branches. If you’re going to DIY, it’s important to use common sense and the right tools to keep yourself safe from harm. We recommend you wear gloves and avoid climbing trees or ladders in order to cut down branches. You’re better off leaving the dangerous work to us!

  • Always try to prune your trees during their dormant season (generally over winter), as this will reduce the stress on the trees. If the branch you want to trim is less than 5cm in diameter, you can trim it with no worries; however, if it is any larger, you should only ever proceed if you absolutely have to. This is both for safety reasons and because removing large branches could potentially harm your tree.
  • When pruning, don’t leave a large stump or cut too close to the trunk or branch you’re cutting from.
  • If the branch you want to remove has a strong U-shaped angle, it’s best to leave it intact, unless it poses a hazard. Branches with weak V-shaped angles should be removed.
  • Try to prune when branches are young, as they are much easier to manage when small and supple.
  • A branch will usually have a branch collar (a ridge on the underside of the branch, where it attaches to the stem) and a branch ridge (on the upper-side of the branch). When removing a branch, you should always make your cut outside the ridge and angle your cut downwards, away from the stem. Try not to injure the branch collar.
  • Both dead and living branches can be pruned in the same manner.
  • For long stems, use multiple cuts to manage the length so as not to cause a hazardous situation by having a big, heavy branch falling.


Pruning Techniques

Crown Thinning – After pruning, you should have a ratio of living crown to tree height of two-thirds – you should never remove an amount of living crown greater than one-fourth at a time. If you need to remove more than this, do it over a couple of seasons, rather than in one hit. Lateral branches should be spaced evenly and this is even more important on young trees. 

Crown Raising – If you need to create space under a tree’s branches for pedestrian traffic, a fence or similar, you’ll have to be very careful not to be too aggressive, as this may prevent a tree from being able to develop a strong stem. At least two-thirds of the tree’s height should have live branches kept.

Crown Reduction – It can be harmful to shorten the height of a tree, so this should only happen if completely necessary. When pruning lateral branches, make sure they are at least one-third the diameter of the stem. If you’re finding you want to remove more than half of the existing foliage from a branch, it’s better to just remove the entire branch.

For everything else, contact us and receive great rates on your tree pruning needs! We're available for all types of tree lopping and tree removal in Brisbane, 7 days a week, and available outside business hours.