We show you how to bring a large tree back down to size in this simple pruning guide.

If a tree has out grown its space in the garden, you don’t have to get the chainsaw out and shout ‘Timber’. Try the ancient method of pollarding instead. Some timely hard pruning while the tree is in its dormant phase will bring it back under control and promote strong, lush growth in spring. The before and after shots below, show how effective this technique can be. Follow these 3 steps to prune a large tree:

Before and After

Step 1) Tackle thinner branches

First, cut back all side branches with a pair of loppers to leave you with a framework of uncrowded thick branches. A sharp set of loppers should cope with branches up to 1½in (4cm) thick.

tree prune

Thinner branches

Step 2) Tackle thicker branches

Use a pruning saw or band saw on the remaining framework. On heavy branches it’s best to first make a shallow undercut behind the top cut, to prevent the branch splitting back to the trunk. Cut back the excess stub once the bulk is removed.

prune trees

Thicker branches

Step 3) Sealing wounds

Opinion is divided on the effectiveness of wound sealants. They certainly won’t harm the tree, and on large cuts, may prevent infections setting in. Apply your chosen sealant with a paint brush.

tree pruning

Sealing wounds

.Read more about pruning:

Grape pruning in winter

Grape pruning is a vital job in winter, the vines need a hard prune to encourage heavy cropping. However the…