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Make the correct cut when lopping trees

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Tree lopping involves pruning and trimming various parts of the tree including branches and twigs. Prune your trees correctly and no one notices. However, prune your trees incorrectly and everybody will notice. There's fine line between perfect and poor pruning. You want to get rid of developing defects in a manner that does not mar the tree, leaving it appearing natural and healthy. When you decide to prune a tree on your own, you must take into account the proper pruning techniques. One of these is not cutting the side branches too short. Read on to find out why.

The branch collar

In the past, the perception among many people was that branches ought to be cut as close to the tree trunk as possible. This is not the correct way. Each branch has what's referred to as a collar--a raised bump where the trunk interconnects with the branch. The branch collar contains specialized cells that help wounds heal much faster once a branch is cut. Basically, the specialized cells grow fairly quick around the wound, closing it as soon as possible.

Therefore, when you get as close to the trunk as possible when cutting the side branches, you're more likely to cut the collar together with the branch, which may cause great disaster. Because the branch collar is tasked with creating a scar tissue over open wounds, the cut tree is likely to experience a difficult time recovering. Consequently, disease, insects and pets will enter the trunk, causing damage to the tree and its eventual death. When you notice seeping wounds, or rotten hollows in tree trunks, you're witnessing the consequence of chopping off the branch collar.

Cutting at the right spot

It's imperative that you know the ideal spot to cut when chopping off branches in order to preserve the health of the trunk. Normally, the branch collar features a series of wrinkles that act as the tree's initial line of defense against the entry of microorganisms. The final cut ought to be made simply outside these wrinkles. The surgical cut should be performed square to the width of the stem. In effect, this creates the least theoretical wound. In contrast, if you make a diagonal surgical cut, it results in a larger, oval, sloping wound, which is difficult to heal. In situations where the branch collar isn't visible, you can approximate where to cut off the branch according to where a normal branch collar might be.

If you don't feel comfortable handling this task on your own, contact a local tree lopping service.