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Flush Cuts

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For many years the standard pruning practice was to remove the swollen branch base along with the branch, making the final cut flush, or even, with the bark of the trunk or main branch. Exposed bark on the upper surface of a flush cut appears thicker than bark to the sides and lower surface of the cut because a flush cut severs trunk wood above the cut; sometimes, trunk tissue is removed on the sides and bottom of the cut. In contrast, bark is the same thickness all around a properly made removal cut.

Flush cuts tend to be oval in cross section; whereas, collar cuts (at least on most small-diameter branches) are close to circular. Collar cuts can be oval on some branches. Flush cuts, and the woundwood that closesover the cut, tend to be oval in cross section; whereas, woundwood on collar cuts closes in a more-or-less circular fashion. There are exceptions to this on certain trees that present an oval cross section at the branch base. A flush cut should not be used on tree planted in urban landscapes.

Making a flush cut Flush cut Flush cut closing

This shows the saw cutting through the collar. This can be ivery damaging to certain trees.

Flush cut often leaves the bark wider on top of the cut surface than on the sides and bottom.

Woundwood is forming faster on the sides of the pruning wound than the top and bottom.

Pruning cuts home

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