Strive to Keep Trees Healthy by Pruning

Strive to Keep Trees Healthy by Pruning

Pruning is the most common tree maintenance procedure.  Pruning should be done by a professional with an understanding of tree biology.  Improper pruning can cause lasting damage or shorten the tree’s life.  Common reasons for pruning are to remove dead/dying branches, improve branch structure and to reduce risk.  Trees can also be pruned to increase light and air penetration to the tree’s crown and the landscape below.

Pruning Mature Tree Techniques

  • Deadwooding- Removal of dead, dying or diseased branches. 
  • Thinning- Selective branch removal to improve structure and increase light and air flow through the crown. Proper thinning techniques help to retain the tree's natural shape. 
  • Elevate- Remove low lying branches to provide clearance for buildings, vechicles, pedestrians, and views (scenery). 
  • Crown Reduction- Reduce the size of a tree by pruning back it's leaders and branch terminals to secondary branches that are large enough to assume the terminal roles (at least one-third the diameter of the cut stem). Compared to topping, crown reduction helps maintain the natural shape and structural integrity of the tree. 

Pruning Young Trees

The pruning of young trees is important to establish good structure of primary branches; which become a mature tree’s framework.  Properly trained young trees require less corrective pruning as they mature.

Knowing When to Prune

Growth and wound closure are maximized if the pruning of live limbs is done in the Winter or before growth starts in early Spring.  Removal of diseased, dead, or broken limbs can be done during any season, with little negative impact on the tree.