It’s been over five years since we originally did this video so it’s time for an update and a follow up to how this pruning job worked out. I went back out to this tree and took some still photos that you will see here.
When we posted this video we received a lot of comments and commentary about the video, the information and the process. Some really good points were made that I failed to mention in the video.
One excellent point was that it’s often better to make two cuts. Make the first cut maybe 12″ from the tree, using the same process of making an undercut first as I show in the video so as the branch falls the bark does not get stripped down the tree. By making a cut 12″ out away from the tree that gets the branch out of the way, and more importantly it takes the weight of the branch of of the limb when you make your final cut, assuring that the final cut will be nice and clean.
Another point that was made is that you should never make a cut that is so flush to the tree that you cut into, or remove the branch collar. The branch collar is the mounded area around the branch where it emerges from the tree.
In the above photo, this is the same tree that I pruned in the video, but five years later. You can see where several branches have been removed from this tree over time. On the tree you see a leaf stuck to the tree and to the right of that a dimple in the tree. The dimple is where I removed the branch shown in the video. You can see that it has healed over nicely and is likely to close up completely in time.
In the same photo you can see where other branches were removed, not by me, where a stub was left and those did not heal up well at all.
In the above photo this cut was made in such a way, again not by me, that is not allowing the wound to heal over properly. Dead wood with peeling bark is still exposed many years later. The ideal place for insect and disease to either enter the tree or just linger.
The above photo is another example of pruning wound that is not heeling well at all. Honestly I’m not sure why, I am assuming that when the cut was made the branch collar was damaged or removed leaving the tree with no means of healing itself.
As always, questions, comments and any other helpful tips from experts are welcome. Just post them below.