How to Prune a Small Tree
Pruning is really the best preventive maintenance a young plant can receive. It is critical for young trees to be trained to encourage them to develop a strong structure.
Too many young trees are pruned improperly or not pruned at all for several years. By then it may become a major operation to remove bigger branches, and trees may become deformed.
At planting, remove only diseased, dead, or broken branches. Begin training a plant during the dormant season following planting.
• Prune to shape young trees, but don’t cut back the leader.
• Remove crossing branches and branches that grow back towards the center of the tree.
• Remove multiple leaders on evergreens and other trees where a single leader is desirable.
• As young trees grow, remove lower branches gradually to raise the crown, and remove branches that are too closely spaced on the trunk.
• Trim off any branch stubs.
• Cut off any suckers at ground level or water sprouts along branches.
• Prune to encourage strong, even branches and crotches.