“Prune branches for growth – undercut & avoid tearing” : Prune Tree Branches: Proper Technique to Avoid Tearing

1. “Pruning branches in dormant season: Effective techniques to prevent branch tearing”
2. “Safe pruning methods for non-growing tree branches: Undercutting and top-down cutting to avoid tearing”.

Now is a Good Time to Prune Branches from Trees as They Aren’t Actively Growing

Pruning is an essential task for maintaining the health and appearance of trees. By removing dead, damaged, or diseased branches, you not only enhance the tree’s aesthetic appeal but also promote its growth and longevity. While pruning can be done at any time of the year, there is a particularly ideal moment to prune when trees are not actively growing. This article will discuss why now is a good time to prune branches from trees and provide you with the best method to ensure a clean cut.

Why Prune Trees During Dormancy?

Pruning during the dormant season, typically in late winter or early spring, offers several advantages. Firstly, with no foliage present, it is easier to assess the tree’s structure and identify problematic branches. Without leaves, you can clearly see dead or damaged limbs, as well as branches that may pose a safety risk. Secondly, pruning during dormancy minimizes the impact on the tree’s resources. As the tree is not actively growing, it can allocate more energy to recovering from the pruning cuts without diverting resources to support new growth. Lastly, pruning during the dormant season reduces the risk of spreading diseases or attracting pests, as wounds can heal more rapidly.

The Best Technique for Pruning Branches

When it comes to pruning branches, it is crucial to use the right technique to avoid causing unnecessary damage to the tree. One effective method is to make a small undercut in the branch before making the final cut. This technique, known as the three-cut method, helps prevent the branch from tearing and causing a jagged wound.

The first step is to make an undercut about 12 inches away from the branch collar. This cut should be made on the bottom side of the branch, approximately one-third of the way through. By starting with an undercut, you ensure that the weight of the branch does not result in bark ripping or tearing as you make the final cut.

After making the undercut, move about 2 inches further out along the branch and make a second cut from the top downwards. This cut should meet the undercut, resulting in the branch detaching cleanly. By cutting from the top down, you allow gravity to assist in preventing any tearing or stripping of the bark. It is important to note that the final cut should be made just outside the branch collar, the swollen area where the branch attaches to the trunk. Avoid cutting too close or too far away from the collar, as this can hinder proper healing.

Remember to use sharp, clean tools for pruning to ensure a smooth cut and minimize the risk of introducing diseases. Additionally, regularly disinfect your pruning tools to prevent the spread of any plant pathogens.


Now is an opportune time to prune branches from trees as they are in a dormant state. Pruning during this period allows for better evaluation of the tree’s structure, minimizes resource diversion, and reduces the risk of diseases. By utilizing the three-cut method, starting with an undercut and then cutting from the top downwards, you can avoid branch tearing and promote proper healing. Always use sharp, clean tools, and remember to disinfect them regularly. Pruning is an important practice that not only enhances the appearance of trees but also contributes to their overall health and vitality.


Source : @STIHL_GB


1. “Best technique for pruning tree branches to prevent tearing”
2. “Optimal time to prune tree branches for minimal damage”.

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