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 shallow cut from below, about 6-12 inches out from the trunk. Make the second cut from above, about 3 inches beyond the first cut, down the branch or toward the tip, until the branch falls away. This will leave a short limb on the trunk. Cut the remaining limb at a 45 degree angle so the bark collar remains intact.