Removing a large branch on a tree is sometimes necessary. This could be because of damage to the branch or because the branch has grown in such a manner as to weaken the tree. Sometimes you may need to remove the branch simply because it is in the way, such as branches that overhang a driveway or hit a building. Regardless of the reason, this is a tricky operation that must be done properly to prevent damage not just to the tree, but also to the person doing the trimming. The following can help.
Step #1: Grab a partner and the right safety gear
Large branches are best brought down with the help of a partner and a step ladder. This is so they can help balance the weight of the branch as you cut, which can help prevent binding of the blade or cracking in the wrong location. You should also wear eye and head protection, along with heavy gloves.
Step #2: Prep the branch
A living branch can hold a lot of weight if it has already begun to leaf out. For this reason, it's a good idea to take a pair of pruning shears and to trim off all the twiggy branches and leafy ends. Then, your partner can either support the end of the branch as you cut, or they can prop it up on top of a spare step ladder.
Step #3: Make an undercut
The main goal now is to cut the branch without it cracking the trunk of the tree. The simplest way to achieve this is to make an undercut about a foot out from the trunk. You can use a chainsaw or a pruning saw. Slice up from underneath the branch until you have cut about halfway through. It is important the tips remains supported so the branch doesn't begin to bend – this can bind the saw blade. Once this is done, cut down from the top of the branch to meet the under cut in the middle, thus severing the bulk of the branch.
Step #4: Time for the final cut
Now you can cut off the remaining stub without fear of cracking the trunk. Simply use your pruning saw or chainsaw to remove the last of the stub so it is cut flush to the trunk. This will initially leave a large wound, but over time the tree will grow healthy wood around it. This will develop into what is known as a collar, which will slowly close over the wound. There is no need to paint or treat the cut, as a healthy tree will heal it over on its own.
If you need more help with removing a large branch, contact a pruning company in your area, such as Kansas City Tree Care, LLC.