How to Cut a Tree Limb


There are many reasons to cut tree limbs. They may need to be cut to enhance the appearance of the tree or maybe the limbs are too close to the roof of a house and it's time to do preventative maintenance on the tree. It may be that the tree's limbs are getting too close to power lines. Whatever the reason, when cutting tree limbs you must be aware of how to identify where you want to make the cuts so that you protect the tree and the falling limb doesn't do any damage.

Things You'll Need

  • Pole tree pruner with pruning saw attachment
  • Plan where you want to make the cut(s). Decide which limbs and branches need to go and which ones can stay. Be aware of your surroundings and plan out how the tree limb will fall when it is cut.

  • Cut the limb from its bottom approximately one foot away from where it adjoins the trunk of the tree. Make the cut approximately a third of the way through the limb. This prevents the limb from tearing as it falls and doing damage to the tree.

  • Cut the rest of the limb one foot away from where the limb meets the trunk and then allow the limb to fall on its own weight.

  • Cut the remaining stub off as close to the main trunk as you can get, but not inside the branch collar as this will keep the tree from healing.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always beware of power lines when cutting tree limbs. Do not cut tree limbs while standing on a ladder. Be aware of where you are standing when you cut the tree limb so it doesn't fall on you. Do not allow children or pets in the area where you are cutting limbs.

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