Aging pine tree

Asked April 24, 2019, 7:02 AM EDT

We have a beautiful older pine tree on our property. It is about 100 feet tall but close to our house. We need to prune the lower branches since all are missing from one side. Will this harm the tree?What guidance can you give me. Reaching out as a Michigan State alumni.

Genesee County Michigan pruning trees

1 Response

Hello,

Glad to hear from an alumnus! Pruning now is fine. The only time to avoid pruning is late summer and fall, when pruning could stimulate a late burst of growth- leaving new, tender growth too short a time to mature before the harsh winter..

Correctly pruning is important. You do not want to cut a branch flush with the trunk, nor do you want to leave too long a stub. For branches thicker than 1.5 inches, you want to use the ‘3 cut ‘ method so as not to tear bark on the trunk, and leaving the ‘branch collar’ at the base of the branch. Here are pruning articles, with pictures. -

https://extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/default/files/documents/12281/pruningtreesshrubs.pdf

https://extension2.missouri.edu/mg8

Of course, you may leave the branches on the tree if they are healthy and not interfering with the house. If you have more questions, just ask! You may attach pictures of the tree and the area you want to prune, too. Thank you for using our service.