The Art of Tree Lopping: Essential Tips and Techniques for Proper Pruning

Trees are nature’s gift to humans for various reasons. We use wood for the most basic things like tools to more complex things like furniture, buildings, etc.

But, our use of trees doesn’t always end with cutting. Trees not only produce some of the tastiest foods in the world, but they are also a great source of shade.

Because of that, a lot of people decide to grow them in their backyards for fruits and shade, however, growing and keeping a tree healthy throughout its entire lifespan is not that simple. Trees require lopping to help them keep producing and maintain their shade as suggested by A B Trees.

In this article, we will give you all of the essential tips and techniques for proper pruning.

Reasons why you should start pruning


If you are still uncertain whether pruning is really needed and whether it is worth investing so much time into this, let’s look at a couple of reasons you should start pruning.

  1. Dry and dead branches prevent other branches from continuing their growth. In fact, if there are too many dry branches in your tree, it may even stop growing leaves and fruits. Once you remove those branches, the tree will finally get a little bit of life back into it.
  2. Prevents diseases. We already mentioned that dead branches can hinder other parts of the tree to continue growing. This happens because the nutrients, water, and other resources needed are wasted into useless parts. By freeing up those resources, the tree can boost its immunity.
  3. Boosts produce. Do you enjoy those peaches that are growing in your backyard every spring and summer? Well, if you do, then you definitely want to do some pruning as that can boost fruit production and may even improve taste!
  4. It makes for a tidier backyard. While the three reasons above are more than enough reasons for anyone to start pruning, the last, but still very important benefit is that it keeps your backyard clean by getting rid of all the unnecessary, droopy, and dry branches.

Now that you are convinced that it is time to start pruning in your backyard, let’s have a look at some of those tips and techniques that you can use!

Get the right tools


Before you can do anything, you will need the right tools and equipment. You can’t just start breaking branches with your hands! That way, you can hurt both your hands and your beloved tree.

So, head over to the hardware store and grab the following:

    • Pruning saw – this is a must-have in any garden, especially if you have a lot of trees in your yard. This type of saw is perfect for cutting small and medium-sized branches and for certain bushes. You can do most of the job with this tool, but we recommend some of the following tools too.
    • Loppers – we believe these are also an essential tool as they provide much better access to certain branches than the pruning saw as they are pretty long and have enough clamping force. Although, these are not the best for cutting larger branches.
  • Telescopic pruner – these are not necessary, but they are a much better solution for pruning smaller branches than having to climb on a ladder and then use the loppers.
  • Secateurs – once you are done dealing with the large branches, it is time to do some “fine-pruning”. Secateurs are vital for dealing with bushes or if you are trying to maintain/create a shape.
  • Shears – these are also good if you want to keep your bushes tidy or turn them into a certain shape.
  • Chainsaw – of course, when none of the tools above can do the job, it is time for a chainsaw. This powered piece of equipment can deal with anything you throw at it. Just make sure to be extra careful when handling it.

That’s about it when it comes to tools. Sure, there might be a lot more options out there, but the listed tools are more than enough and they won’t hurt your wallet too much.

Signs to look out for


Now with the right equipment in your hands, it’s time to look for the signs that show you that you need to do some lopping.

Here is what you need to look out for:

  • Dead or dry branches. This is what you will be looking out for most of the time. If you see any dead, dry, or even diseased branches, pick the right tool for the job and cut them off. Usually, the saw will do well.
  • Branches growing in the wrong direction. The point of pruning is also to keep your backyard tidy, so naturally, you do not want the tree growing in the wrong direction. This could be toward your house, patio, or even power lines.
  • Branches are too close to each other. If you see any that are growing too close or rubbing against each other, it is best to cut them early and then wait for them to get thicker and more complicated to prune.
  • Suckers around the trunk. Suckers or small sprouts around the base/trunk need to be removed as they usually draw resources from the tree, hindering its growth.

Best time to prune


When it comes to your first pruning, it is better to do it as soon as you can. But, once you start, it is best to build a habit and always prune at the same time every year.

Generally, most experts recommend pruning somewhere between January and March, right before spring comes. But, you can also do pruning in the fall once all of the leaves have fallen.


With the right tools, tips, and knowing what to look for, tree lopping isn’t that difficult. But, if you simply don’t have the time or patience to do it, it might be best to hire professionals to help you with it.

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