Tree Pruning 101: What Is the Three-Cut Technique Used For?

When property owners need to prune a tree, they usually contact professional arborists. However, in the event that you decide to prune a branch yourself, knowing the proper method can help you safely cut into your tree without causing it major harm. While researching pruning, a question you may ask consists of, “What is the three-cut technique used for?”

In short, the three-cut technique allows you to remove a branch without causing lasting damage to your tree. Learn how to properly utilize this method from the leading experts providing Albany’s tree trimming and pruning services.

Each Part of the Three-Cut Technique, Explained

As a branch removal process, the three-cut method enables you to trim your trees safely and easily while preserving the tree’s health. Typically, you’ll want to keep lateral branches trimmed to allow your tree the most room to grow and prosper. Using the proper pruning techniques enables you to enjoy healthy, happy trees.

Now you know that the answer to, “What is the three-cut technique used for,” consists of safe pruning cuts for living trees, but how do you perform the three-cut method? To start with, you can use a handsaw or chainsaw to perform these cuts. Next, you want to locate the branch bank ridge and branch collar.

The bank ridge consists of the raised bark along the top of the branch’s joint with the main trunk, while the bottom and side portions make up the branch collar. These raised sections guide all three of your cuts, especially the last one. After locating these areas and getting your cutting tool, follow these steps of the three-cut technique:

Cut One: Bottom Cut

Above the branch collar, make a cut one-third of the way through the branch. This cut prevents bark from peeling down the tree and causing further damage.

Cut Two: Top Cut

This cut, made above the branch’s bank ridge, completes the severance and allows the branch to detach from the tree.

Cut Three: Final Cut

After the first two steps, you’ll have cut the branch off of the tree entirely. Your last cut will slice through the bank ridge and branch collar, creating a wound that the tree can naturally recover from.

A healthy tree will heal naturally, leaving a scar that slowly fades year after year.

Trust Your Pruning to the Professionals at Green Acres Tree Service

Property owners researching how to properly prune their tree often wonder, ““What is the three-cut technique used for.” While anyone can wield a saw and prune a tree with the three-cut method, determining the health and ability of a tree to recover typically requires a professional arborist. When you rely on tree experts to evaluate the safety of pruning and perform the cuts for you, you ensure that your trees receive the best care possible.

Whether you need to deal with a pine tree or prune an overgrown apple tree, Green Acres Tree Service in Albay, GA, can help. Call our tree experts for a pruning quote at (229) 881-2538.


We provide the best professional tree care services for residential  and commercial tree care in Albany, and surrounding areas of Southwest GA.


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