Prune

When performed properly, pruning will help maintain the health and beauty of your trees. A stub cut (pictured) leaves too much of a dead branch on the tree that will decay backward into the trunk and could lead to death of the tree.

Virtually all trees in our landscapes will need to be pruned during their lives — particularly in the first two decades after planting. Sometimes a tree may need to be pruned in some way to help it, such as dealing with storm damage, reducing limb weight, removing dead limbs and stopping the spread of disease.

Trees are also pruned to adapt them to our urban environment, including keeping limbs from coming in contact with power lines, rubbing against the home, hanging too low or obstructing views. Pruning may also be done to make trees more attractive and useful in the home landscape.

Dr. William Johnson is a horticulturist with the Galveston County Office of Texas AgriLife Extension Service, The Texas A&M System. Visit his website at aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston.

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