Tree Pruning is best done on dormant trees, so this being winter, now is the time. I was walking through the park and saw the staff had done some tree pruning. I took these pictures to show how the tree should look after its done. Here's a video we did on how to prune a tree.
When pruning a tree, after determining which branches to cut, you make 3 cuts to the limb. This is done to keep the tree bark from stripping back down the tree trunk. First is a bottom cut about an inch away from the finish cut, then a top cut an inch farther out on the limb to cut the limb. The bottom cut keeps the bark from stripping down past the cut. The final cut is made flush to the growth ring near the trunk.
Why 3 Cuts When Tree Pruning?
This may seem like a waste of time, so go ahead and prune a few tree limbs, you can see how the bark rips down the trunk, not a good thing.
When doing the final cut it should be close to the trunk, however, you don't want the cut to be flush with the trunk. Though it can be hard on some trees, you want the cut to be just past the growth ring of that limb. As a result, cutting at the ring will allow the tree to heal faster, like the one below.
On some trees, the ring isn't obvious, so do the best you can. Trees are amazingly resilient. Do not paint on any kind of coating after making the cut. The tree will create its own chemical barrier inside the wound to prevent bad stuff from enter the tree. If you apply paint or some sort of tree wound product, it will only keep bad stuff in the wound, not out.
Sometimes you can't get close to the trunk, so do the best you can. Your tree will take care of itself. Be happy that you took out the branches that are dead and dying, making the tree look better and grow better.