Serving Edmonton for over 25 Years


Trimming & Branch Removal

The Right Place to Trim

The biggest pruning mistakes we see are branches cut in the wrong place. Most amateurs tend to leave too much of a stub when they remove a branch. The problem is, once this stub dies off, it creates a perfect entry point for insects and disease pathogens.

Trees don’t regenerate tissue the same way humans do. While our skin acts to replace itself, trees grow new tissue around their wounds in a process known as compartmentalization. If a tree can compartmentalize an old pruning wound, it has a much better chance of survival. Also, efforts should be made not to create wounds on tree trunks with lawn mowers and other machinery. Destructive fungi are opportunists!

Trees have a natural defense system built into the swollen area known as the collar, where the branch meets the trunk. It is important to make a flush cut close to the trunk without removing the collar. The proper cut is made just beyond the collar, not leaving a stub, but leaving the swollen area intact.

Trimmed tree

DON'T leave a stub, but DO leave the collar at the base of a branch, since a tree has natural defenses there. Always make clean cuts.

Removing Branches

The first step in removing a branch is getting the weight off:

Correct tree trim procedure
  • Go out a foot or two from the trunk and first make an undercut 1/3 of the way up from the bottom of the branch. If you go too far, your saw will get pinched.
  • Then make your second cut all the way through the branch from the top side of the branch, just an inch or two outward from your first cut.
  • The branch should then fall away without tearing bark back to the trunk. Maples always want to tear.
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