Tree Maintenance and pruning
The area round the base of the tree should be kept weeded until it is well established. Watch the tie regularly and keep it from becoming too tight, ie, allow a little play. Strangulation may cause great damage. Remove the stake only when the tree is absolutely firm-this will take at least three -years.
To keep the tree shapely, preferably with a single leading shoot, the following rules should always be followed in pruning trees young or old.
Always cut a shoot or branch back to the point where it arises, making the cut as clean and flush and as close to the main branch as possible. If a `snag’ is left, it will not grow and will eventually rot and cause damage.
If the shoot or branch is of any weight, carry out the operation in two stages, the first taking off the weight and leaving a short snag that can then be removed without its bark tearing away back into the main stem. If the scar is large, paint it with one of the proprietary sealing paints.
Ornamental trees are in general best pruned from mid-to-late summer. The wounds then heal quickly and attacks by fungi or bacteria are held at bay. This applies particularly to most species of Prunus, especially cherries, It also applies to maples, birches and walnuts which `bleed’ sap during the winter and spring.
Never attempt to carry out pruning on a large tree; always obtain the services of a qualified tree surgeon. Unless properly done, it will probably result in damage and disfigurement of the tree, and in addition is often a highly dangerous undertaking for the unskilled operator.