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Pruning Bottom Branches from Conifers

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From: judy fittro
lynchburg, OH
when is the best time to remove bottom branches from the pine tree and is there any certain way or tool to use. the bottom branches are hugh, they lay on the ground, they are beautiful, but it is really hard to mow around them and the are quickly reaching the house........

Extension Message
From: Jay Hayek
Extension Specialist, Forestry
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
Greetings Judy:

As I've stated many times, I am an advocate for dormant season pruning--whether the tree is a conifer or a hardwood.

Aesthetic pruning to facilitate mowing is certainly acceptable as long as you do not remove too many branches--again, I would wait to prune until the dormant season (i.e., late fall through late winter). The best way to prune a tree is a via a pruning saw--not a chainsaw!!!

Here are several good publications to help you get started with your pruning project:

Best of luck!

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