Tree pruning: our practical and regulatory guide

Pruning trees requires knowledge, method and equipment, all these points will be covered in this practical pruning article.

What is pruning?

A point of definition is essential for a good introduction. Pruning consists of selectively removing certain branches from a tree. In addition to limiting size, pruning focuses on removing damaged or diseased wood for healthy, balanced growth. In addition, it sometimes turns out to be necessary to guarantee safety, especially in urban areas where trees must coexist with human activity and be integrated into the infrastructure.

Pruning and pruning: what are the differences?

Although often confused, pruning and pruning are not exactly the same thing. We are talking more about the cutting of bushes and small trees, such as black currant, which we model for aesthetic or production needs. Pruning is a maintenance procedure that is only performed on trees to ensure their good health and thus their longevity.

Unlike the size that tolerates the approximation, pruning is a professional job, involving elaborate cuts and sometimes requiring a very high level of skill.

When is the ideal time to prune?

The appropriate time for cutting may vary depending on the tree species and climatic conditions in the region. In general, it can be said that it is practiced either at the beginning of winter when all the leaves fall or in mid-spring after the sap comes out. Avoid periods of frost that are not favorable for this type of outdoor work.

Regarding the frequency of cutting, young trees under 10 years old should be maintained every 2 years. After that, pruning every 5 years should be more than enough, and even every 10 years for specimens older than 20 years.

How to prune a tree?

A pruner is a trained professional who perfectly controls the pruning technique, including working at height, completely safely, with the appropriate equipment.
A pruner is a trained professional who perfectly controls the pruning technique, including working at height, completely safely, with the appropriate equipment. 

Before we give you some practical advice, it’s still important to remember that pruning is work! A tree pruner is a trained professional who has an in-depth knowledge of various tree species. It complies with the latest regulations and perfectly controls pruning techniques, including pro working at heights, completely safely, with the appropriate equipment. Therefore, we can only recommend that you call a professional pruner for the most important and/or risky jobs.

Choose the right tools and secure your website

For the smallest branches, pruning shears or pruning shears enough. Once the diameter exceeds 4 to 5 cm, you will need to use a tree saw or even a chainsaw instead for the largest branches. It goes without saying that everything must be in perfect condition, sharp and maintained to ensure healthy and risk-free cutting.

Let’s talk about safety, in addition to personal protective equipment such as gloves, helmet and glasses, it is also necessary to assess the area where branches fall. Secure the space as much as possible so that no one passes through it during work.

Once the branches are too tall and require climbing a stepladder, ladder, stepladder, etc., matters get complicated and the instability makes pruning especially dangerous! Professionals usually use harnesses and other safety equipment, apart from working in pairs it’s probably time to hand over the reins to them…

Use proper pruning techniques

As we said, you can’t just make a good cut! For example, although it may seem more aesthetic to you, know that one should not do not cut the branch flush with the trunk. Similarly, the cut should not be parallel to the trunk, rather it is advisable to observe the orientation of the cut branch and cut it in a perpendicular axis. These measures enable the area to heal optimally and quickly.

With a branch cutter, the cut should not be parallel to the trunk.
With a branch cutter, the cut should not be parallel to the trunk. 

While using a branch cutter remains relatively simple, cutting large diameter branches requires the implementation of a certain method.

  • First, mark the cutting area by cutting slightly below the branch. This will prevent tearing when completely cut.
  • Add a few inches to the ends of the tree and stand above the branch this time to cut it all the way.
  • Freed from the weight, you can now complete a clean cut on the first notch.

Although this is debated among experts, it is possible protect each wound by applying a natural sealant. This prevents fungal attack during the healing period, which is especially useful in the most humid areas.

Can tree pruning be tax-deductible?

If pruning is done by a professional firm approved for this type of service, it is considered a personal service (like gardening). You could benefit from this income tax deduction equal to 50% of the costs incurred, provided, however, that this pruning is done at eye level, in your garden and without the need for an expert to intervene in the tree with ropes and harnesses.

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