Proper cuts require good, sharp pruning equipment. Make all cuts clean and smooth and do not leave stubs or remove bark. In most cases, you should cut back each stem to a bud or branch. Do not make the cut too close or too far away because most new growth will come from this area. Select the branch to be pruned and cut it back to ½" above an outer bud or to the collar area of a branch about half the size of the main branch that connects a 45° angle. Your cuts should be slanted upward at about 45° to prevent water from collecting in the cut.
When cutting branches more than 1 ½" in diameter, use a three-part cut. Make the first cut from below about 6-12 inches out of the trunk. Make the second cut from above, about 3-9 inches down the branch, until the branch falls away. Then cut the remaining limb at a 45° angle so the bark collar remains intact.