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Removal Cuts

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A removal cut removes a branch back to its parent stem or trunk and retains the collar. Collars at the base of branches become most prominent when the branch is much smaller than the trunk. In contrast to a reduction cut, the part of the plant that remains following a removal cut has a larger diameter than the part that was removed. Examples include removing a limb from the trunk, cutting a lateral branch from a limb, or cutting a smaller branch from a larger one.

There is no universal angle to the trunk or parent stem at which to make a proper cut. Instead, the angle is determined by collar location and shape, location of the branch bark ridge, the tree species, and your experience. Most cuts are made at an angle, moving downward and away from the trunk. Depending on the species, some will be made parallel with the trunk. Sometimes the cut should form a wide angle with the trunk. Occasionally, if the collar is more prominent on top, the bottom of the cut angles downward toward the trunk. This is most common when the branch to stem aspect ratio is small and the collar has grown far out on top of the branch base.

Pruning cuts home  Examples 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

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