How to Prune
A cut when properly made should be done at an angle away from the remaining branch or trunk. The bark around the cut should be intact and should not have any tears. The cut should never run along the tree's trunk. This is called a flush cut and it can promote disease in your tree.
Remaining branches should not be cut flatly across the limb leaving stubs, this is called topping and it will promote undesirable and weak growths with a high potential for becoming projectiles in a storm.
Pruning methods affect the structure of a tree and are directly related to how the tree responds to the winds of a hurricane or a severe storm. All efforts must be made to maintain a tree structural integrity and to prevent for trees to become projectiles.
Methods There are 2 types of pruning methods: those that promote desirable tree growths and those that promote hazardous conditions. Desirable methods include cleaning, thinning, raising, and reducing. Undesirable methods include topping, excessive lifting, and lion-tailing.
The first step in
pruning is to stand back and look at the tree to be pruned. Try to
imagine what it will look like when it is going to be larger, and
remember that tree limbs will increase in diameter and lengthen but will
not move upward on the trunk as the tree grows.
Proper Pruning Cuts
Pruning cuts should be made just outside the branch collar. The branch
collar is an extension of the main stem of the tree where the branch
joins the main trunk. The branch collar contains trunk tissue that will
eventually cover the cut and should not be damaged or removed. Cutting
into the branch collar will induce decay to expand into the main trunk
of the tree.
Proper Pruning Principles
Please reference the Proper Pruning Principles Diagram: