There is plenty of information about how to prune using the three cut method. Today I’d like to show you why to prune using the three cut method.
When pruning trees and shrubs we want the wound to heal quickly. The quicker the wound heals the better your tree or shrub can seal out attack by disease, rot, and insects.
The three cut method lets your trees and shrubs heal quickly.
How to Prune Trees and Shrubs Using the Three Cut Method
We are going to make three cuts with our pruning saw to remove a branch.
Cut from the underside of the branch about a foot from the trunk. Make this cut about a third of the diameter of the branch. If you’re pruning a large branch remove limbs farther out to lighten the load.
Cut from the top of the branch about half-inch to an inch outside the first cut. The undercut you made in step one will prevent the bark from peeling and damaging the trunk as the branch falls.
Now it is time to make the most important cut at the trunk of the tree or shrub. There are two parts of the tree you should know about at this phase.
Branch Bark Ridge – The ridged line of bark along the crotch of the tree.
Branch Collar – The swollen growth along the branch.
Your goal is to cut the branch just outside the branch collar and never cut into the branch bark ridge so the cut will heal quickly and seal out insects, disease and moisture.
I look for the swollen part of the branch and try to prune just outside.
If you cut into the Branch Bark Ridge of Branch Collar you can injure the callous tissue of the tree and it may never close the wound, exposing the tree to disease and rot.
If you take a little extra time to do it right your trees and shrubs will thrive. Be sure your pruning tools are sharp, it reduces the effort involved and improves your cuts. Now go out and have fun!
By John Holden