Cutting large limbs from a tree is very different from pruning smaller branches. A limb is a large, supporting arm and care must be taken to cut it correctly. The way that the limb is cut off will affect how the tree repairs itself. You can see trees that have been incorrectly cut as the damage will last for as long as the tree is alive. Badly cut limbs can also make the tree look unsightly. This article explains two of the most common mistakes made when removing a limb from a tree and how to make a proper cut.
Leaving The Limb Too Long
If you have ever seen a tree with a few inches of the smooth wood protruding from the collar of the tree, you can be sure that the tree has been cut poorly. The collar is the round shaped protrusion extending out from the trunk of the tree and is covered in bark. The smoother wood grows out of this collar. If you leave too much of the smooth wood protruding from the tree after removing the limb, then the tree will struggle to properly heal. When a tree heals, it produces a tissue from the collar; this tissue should harden and close off the gap. Leaving a protrusion of wood sticking out of the tree prevents it from sealing off properly. This can, in fact, make the tree much more susceptible to disease and will ultimately weaken the tree.
Cutting Too Much Away
If you cut into the collar of the tree in an attempt to cut the limb flush, you will also create problems for the tree. Trees that have holes in them have had this done. The cut has been made into the collar of the tree and effectively destroys the collar. Remember that the collar is where the tree produces the healing tissue. Over time, unsightly holes will appear in these places.
Removing a limb is done in three stages. The first two cuts are made to help you safely remove the limb, and the last cut is the important one. Start by cutting a wedge or notch out of the bottom of the limb a few inches from the collar. This helps you to avoid splitting the limb on your next cut. The second cut is made just beyond the notch, away from the collar, and should be made right through the limb. This removes the weight of the branch and allows you to safely make the final cut. Lastly, cut at the exact point where the collar transitions from bark to smooth wood. This will allow the tree to seal over the cut and heal properly.
Always have a helper to keep an eye on the limb as you are making the three cuts. If you need help, contact a service like Ashmere Tree Solutions.Share
1 September 2015
Seeing a tree die can be sad, especially if it's the only shade tree in your yard, a tree you grew up climbing or a once bountiful fruit tree. However, surprisingly, many trees that people seem to give up on can actually be saved. I hate the idea of anyone losing a tree, so I decided to start a blog. This blog is going to have tips I have learned as a lifelong gardener as well as things I have learned while researching trees and botany in general. I hope you like these posts and that they eventually help you save a few trees!