Always make pruning cuts on the outside of the branch collar
Do not leave branch stubs, living or dead
Use sharp hand tools designed for pruning and wear safety equipment
Do not paint wounds with pruning paint. It does not prevent decay and may interfere with wound closure
Homeowners should never climb a tree to prune limbs or attempt to prune limbs near overhead powerlines
Never remove more than 1/3 of the live crown in a single pruning.
Storm & Hurricane Prep Tips
Prune for strength by removing:
Co-dominant leaders or multiple trunks to encourage the growth of 1 main trunk
Injured, diseased and dead branches
Prune for form by removing:
Excess lateral branches to produce a ladder effect at maturity
Water sprouts and root suckers
Limbs that turn inward, cross or extend
Topping a large tree causes excessive sprouting of weakly attached new branches and also increases wind resistance by creating denser branching patterns. Excessive lifting creates a condition where trees become top-heavy. Both of these methods of pruning increase the chances of wind damage in the long run.