1. Clean the pruning clipper and saw blade with a disinfectant of nine parts clean water and one part household bleach. Rinse the tools with clean water and let them dry before using them. Wash the blades before pruning each tree and after removing diseased branches to prevent spreading disease between trees.
2.Remove dead, weak or damaged branches using a three-step cut to reduce damage to the tree from heavy branches. Use either a pruning clipper or pruning saw, depending on the thickness of the branch. Start by cutting 18 inches from the branch collar on the lower side of the branch. Stop cutting when you get to the center of the branch. Make a second cut on the top side of the branch, about 1 inch away from the first cut toward the branch tip. Continue cutting the second cut until the branch falls from the tree. Remove the remaining branch section with a third cut at the branch collar, or the area that swells at the base of the branch.
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3.Remove branches growing toward the center of the crown before they reach a diameter of 2 inches using the three-set method. This will open up the interior of the crown for air flow and prevent branches from rubbing against each other.
4.Prune to remove any branches that rub against each other with the three-step method. This prevents wounds on the branches that create entry points for disease.
5.Remove any branches that have an unappealing shape or growth direction to keep the tree attractive using the three-step. Skip this step if you have already pruned and removed about 10 percent of the branches in one tree pruning session.