I have this kind of tree in the backyard and front yard. They have many branches crossing each other. Some seem to be dead. When and how should I prune them? Many thanks
It certainly looks and sounds as if your tree could benefit from a good pruning. Generally speaking trees and shrubs are pruned to:
- develop and maintain strong structure
- more light to penetrate dense foliage
- remove broken, dead, diseased or hazardous branches (your situation)
- for shaping
Deciduous trees and shrubs are best pruned in late winter or early spring (well before leafing out) while they are dormant and when the weather is not severely cold.
You will need several tools. Hand pruners and loppers need to be very sharp in order to make clean cuts allowing wounds to heal rapidly. A small curved pruning saw is useful for cutting branches larger than 2.5cm. When cutting out dead or diseased wood cut to the point of attachment to live wood. Try not to cut the live wood. Crowded and crossing branches should also be cut off. This will allow the light to filter into the centre thus encouraging healthy growth. Branches that rub together will damage the bark and disease can enter so remove one of the branches.
The following website provides detailed information on pruning woody plants.