XERISCAPE: LANDSCAPING WITH STYLE in the ARIZONA DESERT

       


THREE-POINT CUT
Follow these general instructions for making proper pruning cuts:
  • Start by sawing into the bottom of the limb one to two feet out on the branch to be removed. Saw about half way through the limb. This will prevent the branch from breaking and ripping bark from the tree.
  • Then saw from the top of the limb, an inch or two farther out from the first cut. Saw all the way through the branch. This will leave a stub. This cut removes the weight of the branch so your final cut can be made safely.
  • Finish up by removing the stub. The last pruning cut should be made just outside a line that would connect the bark ridge (top of limb) and the branch collar (bottom of limb). If it's hard to see the branch collar, angle the last cut slightly away from the bark ridge. Cutting too close to the remaining limb removes the tissue that would allow the healing tissue to grow over the wound. Cutting too far away leaves a stump that will die and creates an entryway for pests and disease.

The three-point pruning method.
Photo credit: Linda Lucz

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  • After removing one limb, stand back and take a look before removing anything else. It's better to remove one limb at a time than to remove too many and be sorry later. It is important to remember that every time you prune, a wound is created that must heal. Proper pruning will speed the healing process, minimize cracks along the trunk, reduce the potential for disease and insect infestation and reduce unwanted new sprouts. It is best not to remove larger limbs (over two inches in diameter) in a single cut, use three cuts instead.

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The three-point pruning method.

 
 
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