Tree Pruning Should Be Done With Purpose
Tree Pruning should be purposefully completed with the intentions of encouraging growth, increasing flowering or fruit production, improving overall health, removing damaged or dead limbs, and/or for aesthetic purposes. It’s recommended that you hire a professional who prunes in accordance with the American National Standard Institute (ANSI A300). DIY tree pruning can be dangerous for several reasons, to not only your tree, but you, and potentially your home.
Properly pruned trees are not only healthier and safer than neglected trees, they also live longer and keep your yard looking beautiful. Inspect your trees often, checking for weakly attached branches, dead branches, and unhealthy looking branches, including stubs and hanging limbs. Pruning also allows the tree to heal wounds caused by dead limbs, and this healing provides long-term decay protection.
Don’t neglect young trees. Tree pruning on newer trees removes future problems such as rubbing/crossing limbs, thins overly-dense sections, and saves money in future trimming, by removing limbs prone to failure. A good structure of the primary branches should be established while a tree is young and tree trimming at a young age will help to train the tree to develop this strong structure. Developing this strong structure will require less corrective pruning as the tree matures.
Professional Tree Pruning
Proper tree pruning is a function that should be performed with a specific purpose: to remove dead/diseased branches, thin the canopy, lightly reduce the the longest branches back to a lateral branch, or elevate – removing the lower branches to allow sunlight underneath or create headroom.
Many times, we have clients call to have their trees reduced. Simply cutting back or topping results in near death or the tree can sprout back bigger and bushier depending on the species. No more than 20% of the branches and leaf volume should be removed in a single season. Topping to stubs is never appropriate.
Click HERE for a guide on how to properly prune trees.
Tree Pruning Goals
- Safety Hazards (removal dead, hanging, broken and stubbed limbs and branches)
- Balance (cutting back heavy sections to even weight throughout the tree)
- Single Leader (promotes tree strength by reducing side leaders)
- Crown Weakness (remove limbs that rub or cross, decayed limbs, weak limb junctions all of which increase branch failure)
- Density (is controlled by thinning congested sections to improve light gathering efficiency)
- Views (trees can co-exist with views if they’re pruned to allow a desired view)
Shrub Pruning Goals
- Size Maintenance
- Spacing (proper shrub spacing will allow air flow to plants, buildings, and facilities)
- Insect and Disease Control (thins dense shrubs will aid in disease control by enhancing air flow and light penetration)
- Shrub Health (pruning the whole shrub including the interior will allow for improved health and inside growth)