How to, and to what
Here's the process, and links to demonstrations on real trees.
(This article really, really needed a Sponsor)
First, choose main limbs:
You might decide that the (cartoon representation)
tree below would be most beautiful if just five main
limbs (1-5) branched from its trunk. You see that
each of those limbs draws a graceful line and has
its own branches and foliage neatly arrayed in its
own part of the sky.
Once you select those five as "keepers", you know
you will remove limb A when you next prune, because
it's duplicating limb 1's foliage, filling the same air
space. Likewise, you'll eliminate limb B because it's
cramping limb 3's style, and limb C must go because
it makes the tree look bushy and its leaves are mixed
into the same air space as those of limbs 3 and 4.
Here's that same cartoon tree with its "keeper" limbs and
their foliage outlined from above. Although there is a little
overlap, there are no big duplications. As you prune in the future,
you'll remove limbs that "cross" into other limbs' territory, such
as a branch the sprouts from limb 3, crosses the center of the
canopy and mixes with limb 5's twigs.
Then go to the end of each main limb and clip:
Click for an expanded version of this excerpt*.
1) To a Colorado blue spruce - perhaps the
simplest application since it has only one trunk -- one main cut to
make, and many side brances to shorten.
2) To a Japanese maple.
More links to Sponsor-recommended
*Yes, it's an
We originally created this page as a stop-gap, an excerpt to
help with pruning we were all doing right at that time. For those
who needed more explanation, we had to direct them to the complete
article in our magazine Trees,... At
the same time we begged for a Sponsor to help us speed up website
posting of the
Kelly Allen stepped
up when we
really, really needed a Sponsor
to expand this article.
Thank you, Kelly!
Read the full article here.
We will post all of our work on this website in
There is a great deal to post -- as of this writing we have
about 900 pages posted, of about 3,000 in queue.
The information we have already published and which is still
available in books, magazines and on
CDs, is last in line unless a Sponsor calls it forward.
Sponsoring is simple and we
appreciate every bit of help!