branch collar

tenacre(Z5 SW MI)August 14, 2014

If I leave this branch unpruned, will it ever develop a branch collar?

Where would the proper pruning cut be for this branch (could someone edit the linked photo 00_3011-3.jpg to show it?

Here is a link that might be useful: photos

This post was edited by tenacre on Thu, Aug 14, 14 at 20:08

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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

I'd probably go at it this way, making two cuts to get there.

My thoughts are:

-leaving too much is better than not enough

-The branch collar has to be someplace right off the obvious transition.

-Good luck making that cut. Looks to be a terrible angle to have to saw and any closer would just be more difficult.

That some kind of cherry tree?

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 11:03PM
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tenacre(Z5 SW MI)

Yes, Black Cherry. 12 years old and a little over 40 feet tall.

In photo 01_3010-2.jpg you can see how severely included that branch's bark is.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 1:10AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Two-dimensional pictures don't always work well to represent a real-world 3-D world, so that may be an issue. But, the line Toronado drew would leave FAR too much of a stub. At the very bottom of the limb, the blue line appears to be very near the branch collar. However, the remainder of the blue line is way, way off. Since the branch bark ridge seems to be mostly included into the bark, one should make a pruning cut that is as close as possible to the trunk, at the top of the branch, without unnecessarily damaging the bark. Then, the cut should follow down and terminate near the location (at the bottom) of the blue line. In the middle, in the real, 3-D world, the cut will be way closer to the trunk than the line shows. In other words, the blue straight line doesn't really represent a 3-D straight cut in the 2-D picture.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 9:29PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Oh, BTW, when you remove the majority of the limb first (along the lines of the 3-cut pruning method), the final cut can be from the bottom, instead of the top. Doing it that way, should be fairly easy and allow you to remove the proper amount of wood, without leaving a big stub.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 9:34PM
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tenacre(Z5 SW MI)

In the past, I have used an extremely sharp high quality wood chisel and a small hammer to do finish cutting for situations like this. First I do the 3-step pruning cut, but err conservatively on the 3rd cut. Then, I use the chisel. That way, I can get the cut exactly where it should be without overcutting or undercutting, and no jagged edges.

The problem for me with branches like these is deciding where the 3rd cut should be. I think I've been doing it right, but it would be re-assuring to see several pictures from different angles illustrating the "right" way.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 10:39PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

theory is theory..

but regardless of such.. you do the best you can..

sometimes inanimate objects such as trees.. do not cooperate with theory ..

i would go as close as possible that is allowed by the tree letting you get your saw in there ...

perhaps a bit closer than toro's pic ...


    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 9:28AM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

draw a line with a permanent marker for your last cut.

best regards,


    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 10:04AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Yes, especially helpful for larger branches. I use chalk though.

Right outside that bark is what you'd want to remove.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 10:43AM
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tenacre(Z5 SW MI)

Thanks guys. The red line is the way I have been doing it recently. Good to get some confirmation. Will be interesting to see how the wound closure compares to my earlier too-aggressive cuts. I'll try to remember to take pictures.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 11:10AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

and for those of you who might not know ...

you prune off 98% of the hanging branch ...


took me a long time to figure that out ... precision is so much easier.. when you arent afraid of dropping a 15 foot branch on your head.. or cant hold it up as you are cutting.. and then you make a foot long tear of bark ...

also ... you can cut.. in this pic.. from bottom up ... with a proper tree saw ... which you couldnt do.. with the hanging weight.. because it would eventually bind the saw ....


    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 12:28PM
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beng(z6 western MD)

Offhand, I'm not sure I see anything wrong w/that branch-fork. My B cherry is full of 'em...

    Bookmark   August 17, 2014 at 10:11AM
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