Question: We have a large limb we need to remove from one of our shade trees. What is the best way to do it?

Answer: You need to follow the three-step approach to major pruning. Make your first cut 18 to 24 inches away from the trunk, cutting up from beneath the limb. Cut one-fourth to one-third of the way into the limb from below. Second, move 6 inches farther out on the limb and cut completely through it from the top down. As the weight of the limb causes it to break and peel back, it will only strip the bark away to the point of the undercut. Third, cut the rest of the limb off where it attaches to the trunk, leaving only one-quarter inch of the branch collar.

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