Figure 20. Correct and incorrect final pruning cut. All branches, large and small, should be cut in this manner. Do not cut into the branch collar. It is trunk wood and the trunk can decay if this tissue is damaged. Begin the cut on the outside of the branch bark ridge. This ridge is usually rough and always darker than the surrounding bark and is fairly obvious on most species. Angle the cut so it ends just beyond the swelling (branch collar) beneath the branch. If this swelling is not obvious, then place the cut at a right angle to the top of the branch.