How To Cut Tree Branches

This post contains affiliate links. As an amazon associate, I earn affiliate commission, from qualifying purchases.

Cutting tree branches is not a complicated process until you use the correct trimming method, cutting and pruning your trees

Trees are old friends of humans. They take care of us by providing food, wood, shade, and most important of all, oxygen. But sometimes, trees grow bigger than you want. So you might be thinking of getting rid of the extra burden on your friend by cutting tree branches. But cutting tree branches is not as simple as you might think. You might be thinking about what exactly can go wrong in slicing off a tree branch.

There are two ways of getting something done, the wrong way and the right way.

And if you cut tree branches the wrong way, it may expose the tree to diseases and even damage the trunk. So you should follow the following steps and do it the right way.

Correct method Of CuttingTree Branches

To properly cut the branch without damaging the trunk requires three cuts.

Start cutting by making an undercut about 2-½ feet away from the trunk and cutting more than halfway through the branch. This will prevent the branch from peeling off when making the second cut.

The second cut is the most important one. Cut the branch about 3 feet away from the trunk. If the branch is heavy and breaks during the cut, the first cut on the bottom will stop the branch from peeling the skin.

When you’ve successfully removed the branch, it’s time to make the final cut. Make this cut right at the branch collar. Do not cut the trunk because this will permanently damage the trunk.

Why should we always cut the branch at the collar?

We should always cut the branch at the collar, not very long, not too small, just right at the collar.

Because trees produce a natural healing tissue called a callus, it is like a protective layer of some kind that guards the tree against harmful outsiders. If you cut the branch at the right place(at the collar), this layer will cover the wounded area and form a scar.

Cutting the branch too small or obliterating the branch, the tree would not produce that(healing tissue) because the branch collar is responsible for making that.

And if we cut it too long, the branch itself becomes a problem and prevents the tree from sealing the wound.

Things to avoid after cutting the branches

People always talk about using the materials like tar and other paints to coat the wound to protect the tree from getting diseased.

Materials like tar don’t help the cause of protecting the tree from getting deceased but also interfere with the natural wound dressing(callus tissue).

Are there any benefits of cutting the branches?

Who doesn’t love the lovely sight of trees getting a new coat of green leaves in the spring season?

But before the spring, you should be thinking of removing unwanted branches hanging around,

for your tree to grow healthy.

This process of trimming the trees to get rid of the unwanted branches for the tree’s benefit is called pruning the tree.

The following simple steps can do pruning of the tree.

  • You should cut not more than 25% of the young tree and 10% of the fully grown tree for pruning.
  • First, look for the small dry and diseased branches and cut them.
  • Then watch out for branches that are pointing downwards or crossing each other. Because branches crossing each other will often rub together and cause damage.
  •  Cut off the branches forming a V-crotch because branches that are developing a V-crotch weaken each other. You should cut off one branch to prevent the other branch from getting weak.
  • Cut off the tiny water sprouts growing vertically on the big branches.
  • Then it would help if you moved on to the larger branches. Trim the larger branches using the three cut method described earlier.

Which season is ideal for trimming?

Trees’ branches should be cut somewhere between the late fall and early spring season.

The weather is still cold in the late fall, and trees are not looking to grow.

So this lack of any activity creates an ideal scenario for pruning.

But if you trim during the spring season, it won’t help the tree. In spring, trees are looking to grow, and open wounds during the growth days negatively affect the tree’s growth.

The right tools to use.

Using the right tool for the right job is very important. For cutting the smaller branches, you should be using scissor-cut shears. Use a ladder to cut the small branches which are higher up.

When dealing with the bigger branches, use a pole saw. Manual and cordless electric pole saws are available in the market.

When dealing with the bigger branches, always use a safety helmet.


Cutting, trimming, and pruning is an essential process for the trees. However, if you are not aware of how to cut tree branches properly, we will recommend you first learn the correct method. Here our complete guide will help you to know about cutting tree branches effectively. 

Leave a Comment