For branches and twigs less than 1 inch in diameter, use pruning shears. For branches less than 2 inches in diameter, use lopping shears. Pruning saws are needed for larger branches and trunks.
When a forest pansy redbud tree is young, multiple trunks sprout from the base of the tree. Remove trunks that do not grow in the proper direction, as well as trunks more than half of the main trunk's diameter. Keep large branches with U-shaped crotches, and eliminate those with V-shaped crotches. This creates a stronger main structure.
Sometimes low lateral branches block windows or hinder movement, or branches grow too wide or disproportional. If you want to trim the tree for better shape, do it either in winter before blooming starts, or in late spring after blooming. Trimming in winter may reduce the amount of spring flowering.
Prune dead, diseased or broken branches as soon as you notice them. Remove inward growing branches or branches that rub against each other in winter or late spring.