Pruning branches three-cut methods

Pruning a tree limb may appear to be a horticultural task, but it is not. If you don’t┬áplan well, it can be dangerous to both you and the tree. Tree limbs may be pretty hefty and swing in unexpected directions. If you don’t keep control of the falling branch, it might knock you over. Check out how to prune branches using three-cut methods.

As it pulls away, a falling limb can do catastrophic damage to the tree. Homeowners should avoid trimming huge or tall branches. Call a professional if you cannot complete the task with your feet securely on the ground.

Saving a few bucks isn’t worth the risk of serious injury. Follow this approach for trimming branches within reach, including a three-cut method for eliminating the branch.

3 cut methods

What exactly is the three-cut pruning technique?

The three-cut pruning method is a technique for removing huge branches from a tree. Using this method will keep you safe and your tree healthy. It will keep the wound compartmentalized and support the branch from tearing the bark away from the tree when it releases. 

Why is it used?

This approach lightens the branch and creates a clean, correct cut. If a heavy-weighted limb is poorly removed, the tree’s bark might be peeled, resulting in an exposed wound that can encourage insects or cause tree rotting.

  • Make use of a sharp saw. Purchase a replacement blade if necessary. A sharp saw will cut faster and easier, decreasing fatigue. It will also cut the wood neatly rather than pulling at the tree tissue, which increases the likelihood of the incision becoming infected.
  • Before and after each cut, disinfect the saw. Disease germs may quickly enter new tree wounds and can be transported on pruning instruments. Before each cut, wipe the tool with 25% bleach and 75% water or soak it in 70% rubbing alcohol. After you’ve completed pruning, make sure to clean your equipment.

What are those three-cut methods to remove branches?

Pruning branches three-cut methods

Cut 1: Anywhere from six inches

In the initial cut, do an undercut. The initial cut is made anywhere from six inches to One foot up the branches away from the plant to remove the load of the limb from the tree. If you just make a single cut, as opposed to three, you risk the stem weight pulling away from the bark of the tree or shrub and interfering with the process of healing, which might cause infection. The first incision should be made on the underside of the branch and should extend about halfway across its diameter.

Place one hand on the limb and, with the other, produce an undercut (that does not entirely remove the limb) several inches from the main stem with a hand saw. Position the saw approximately 8 inches away from the branch collar. The swollen or ridged region where the branch connects to the trunk is then cut up from below about a third through the branch. This incision will save the bark from peeling off along the trunk when the limb falls. 

Cut 2: Around 12-13 percent away

The second cut will be around 12-13 percent away from where your arm meets your shoulder, leaving a little gap between the first and second cuts. Saw through the branch above the undercut. Reduce the weight of huge branches gradually by cutting them off in pieces, beginning at the farthest point from the stem.

The branch will sag due to the top cut, finally splitting it neatly. Smaller parts will be easier to avoid and will do less harm to the earth when they fall. Allow a helper to hold each part and carefully drop it to the ground if feasible. You will be left with a stub approximately a foot long that extends from the trunk. This cut protects the trunk from injury.

Find the branch collar. The branch collar that is encircles the branch parallel to the trunk. It has unique tissue that allows the tree to close the incision. To avoid damaging it while making the final cut.

Cut 3: 45-degree angle

The third and final incision is done flush with the bark collar of the branch. The swelling region at the branch’s base serves as a natural barrier against decay-causing microbes. The last cut is made on the upper side of your shoulder, where it joins your arm. Using a sharp saw, cut downwards and distant from the tree’s trunk at a 45-degree angle.

If your arm is still dangling in front of you, your top cut should begin around 1% away from the shoulder and end about 2-3% away from your armpit. Assuming you still have both arms, apply this method on smaller limbs (2-3″ diameter) before progressing to huge limbs over buildings.

Never cut a tree branch flush with the trunk limb; instead, leave a little stub to keep the branch collar and allow the tree to rebound more quickly over the incision.

Tree Pruning, How to Properly Prune Tree Branches?

The first step in trimming is to eliminate any dead, diseased, or tree limbs before applying any trims to change the structure or growth of a tree. It is vital to conduct the cut appropriately while cutting a stem to avoid inflicting more damage to the tree.

Thinner branches with a diameter of 20mm (3/4″) or less, or branches the width of your thumb, can be trimmed with a set of sharp secateurs or a two-handed pruning lopper. Thicker branches can be pruned gently using a pruning saw.

The branch collar is a conspicuous bulge at the base of each branch where it joins to the trunk of the tree or an older branch.

The branch collar comprises interlocking layers of branch and trunk cells. It is essential in repairing the incision made by the shearing cut, sealing it up to reduce deterioration and prevent infections from entering. A well-executed pruned leaves the branch collar safe and sound and unharmed.

Certain trees’ branch collars are huge as well as easily outlined, allowing them easier to spot, yet they may be more difficult to differentiate from others. However, they are always there, thus always performing branch removal cuts to retain the branch collar.

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