Step 2: Saw Off Fat Branches in Three Cuts

saw making first of three cuts to correctly prune a tree
Photo: Karen Bussolini
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Use a three-part cut on big branches to prevent tearing. Any branch 3 inches or more in diameter requires a pruning saw and will fall under its own weight before the blade can get all the way through. This can tear good wood or bark and trap the saw if the branch is cut from below.

To prevent this, Pollack starts about 6 inches from where he wants his final cut to be, sawing partway through the branch or stem from the direction in which he wants it to fall: away from the trunk for a vertical, on the underside for a horizontal. Then he saws through from the other side, slightly above the first cut and sawing into it.
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    Tools List

    • Pole Saw
      Pole saw
    • lopper
      Bypass loppers
    • bypass pruners
      Bypass pruners
    • pruning saw
      Pruning handsaw

    Shopping List

    There are no materials to purchase for this project