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Natural Target Pruning is not going and grabbing the shears and hacking at your landscape tree or shrub. Natural Target Pruning is pruning with purpose and precision, for the better of the plants habit and health.

The first and foremost important thing when pruning a tree or shrub is SAFETY, you must always wear eye protection. Also a hard hat recommended if pruning over-head. Also ear protection if using powered equipment.

The second most important thing is your tools, what tools do you need to complete this pruning process, whether it is pruning shears, loppers, hand pruners, chainsaws, handsaw, pole saws, or pole pruners make sure that they are sharp, for your safety and the plants. A clean cut will heal much faster than that of a butchered up cut.

There are two types of Pruning Cuts Heading and Thinning.

* Heading is the cutting back of a branch to a lateral bud or a lateral branch.

* Thinning is the removal of a branch back to it original point of origin.

Reasons to Prune Landscape Trees and Shrubs

* Dead or diseased branches or limbs

* Insect Damage Wood

* Crossing branches or limbs (if two branches are crossing each other other one must go)

* Rubbing Branches (these were crossing branches that were not taken care of, may have to remove both)

* Suckers, Adventitious Shoots, Adventitious Roots or Reversions

* Injured and broken wood (storm damage or mechanically damaged)

* To keep plant size manageable

* To train or to shape a landscape tree or shrub as desired

* Remove dead flowers or seed heads

* Thin out density growth areas (increase air movement, increases sunlight, reduces wind resistance)

* Develop specialized shapes or forms

* To increase flowering

* To increase fruit production

* To maintain bark and twig color

* To compensate for root loss

* Note some regeneration or recreational pruning can take two or three years to complete, but you have a much healthier and better looking landscape tree or shrub.

How to prune

When pruning large branches next to the truck, it is best to use the three cut method. This is a series of cuts that helps keep for creating large damage areas. The first of the cuts should be about 2-3 inches out from where the branch and the truck meet. This cut should be from the lower side of the branch and should be less than half of the thickness of the branch. The second cut should be a inch out passed the first cut, this will be from the top, and naturally it should break about halfway through the branch back at the first cut. Then the final cut will be next to the branch collar.

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