How to prune a tree
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▪ Broken branches should go first. A ragged break makes the tree vulnerable to fungal infections and insect invasions. Make the cut just after a lateral bud or near a lateral branch, leaving the cut branch’s collar.
▪ Crossing branches are a problem, too, because they can rub together when the wind blows, damaging the bark. Prune the troublemaker.
▪ Vertical branches pointing straight upward and downward from an otherwise healthy lateral branch are liable to weaken it. Remove them.
▪ A codominant stem should be removed when the tree is young. A tree with twin stems will be weak from the fork up, so choose the stem you’ll keep and take down the other.
▪ Suckers are small shoots that grow from the tree’s roots or base, and they sap energy from the trunk. All of them should go.
Source: Popular Mechanics