How to Prune Trees and Shrubs

By Gene and Katie Hamilton

Tools Required
  • Pruning shears
  • Loppers
Materials Required
  • Gardening gloves

Before You Begin

Below are the instruction steps to complete this job yourself. Don't want to do this job yourself? To find a landscape contractor who has the skills and tools to do it right, click Home Advisor and it will open in a new tab and you’ll have to answer some basic questions about your job followed by contractors in your area to do the job.

  • Step 1 : Trim a tree branch

    Trim a tree branch

    Use pruning shears to thin branches and direct a tree's growth by cutting it next to the main stem. Hold the shears next to the main branch with the cutting blade close to and parallel with the branch. Use loppers to thin thicker branches.

  • Step 2 : Trim a shrub

    Remove internal branches to break up a dense mass of them. Remove any dead growth on branches and any that touch the ground.

  • Step 3 : Cut a branch shorter

    Cut a branch shorter

    Cut at a slight angle about 1/4 inch above a bud so the cut leads back to the bud or cluster of buds which promotes more bud growth.