How To Prune a Tree To Keep It Small in Lafayette, LA

There’s something magical about watching a newly planted tree grow. From seedling to sapling, each new stage can be a little adventure with great mental health benefits for the home horticulturist.

However, living in an apartment complex or neighborhood with a strict HOA can require thinking carefully about tree sizes. 

This doesn’t mean giving up on gardening. Instead, the best solution is learning how to prune a tree to keep it small. Even imposing trees can be cultivated comfortably in small spaces with the proper care and attention. 

As Lafayette’s favorite reliable tree service contractor, we’ve helped our community members cultivate trees of all shapes and sizes. These are our favorite pruning tips for small tree growth.

how to prune a tree to keep it small

Starting Small

If you plan ahead, you’ll have the most success keeping trees small through pruning. That means picking an appropriate planting ground for your new tree and starting young. Most pruning techniques won’t work on an older tree, so it’s a good idea to start when it’s still a sapling. 

Take a second to measure the space where you plan to plant it. Even though you will keep it small, is there enough space to grow? 

Once your sapling has been properly planted, it’s time to start trimming.

Your First Cut

Your first few cuts will have the most significant impact on your tree’s growth. It can make the rest of the process much easier when done correctly. These are some things to remember when first trimming trees to maintain small sizes:

  • Make your first cut to limit the tree’s height before branches sprout. Aim for slightly lower than the final height you want.
  • Don’t repeatedly chop off the top of your tree. The limbs will take a while to grow back and will be weaker when they do. 
  • Avoid removing more than 25% of a tree’s canopy at once.

Ongoing Pruning

When done properly, your first few cuts will do most of the hard work. Still, any cultivation will require ongoing tree pruning for small size, so you’ll want to know how to prune a tree to keep it small. Our pruning techniques for small trees include:

  • Expect to do both summer and winter prunings. 
  • During your first year, remove any flowers or buds. While you won’t get any fruit, it will let your tree re-invest those nutrients into a stronger root system.
  • Prioritize pruning branches that grow inward at the center of the tree. This allows more sunlight to reach the other branches. 
  • Remove any branches that start to grow below the initial scaffolding branches. 
  • Remember, you can always hire your local arborist to help with this part too!

Your ongoing pruning should focus on keeping the tree healthy and clipping down its size. 

Tree Pruning and Grooming in Lafayette, LA

Following these techniques to control tree size through pruning can be challenging, so we’re here to help. Hub City Tree and Preservation LLC is your partner in pruning! We know how to prune a tree to keep it small in Lafayette, LA, and surrounding areas, so contact us online or at 337-886-8221 to schedule a free consultation.

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