Tree Pruning

Tree pruning will help your landscape look refreshened

Why Prune

Forest trees maintain well enough with only natures pruning because the aesthetics, safety and value of a tree in the forest varies greatly from the trees within your landscape.  Your property is an investment and your trees are your assets which require a greater level of care in order to maintain their structural integrity and aesthetics.  Every pruning cut has the potential to change the growth of a tree and improper pruning can cause lasting damage.  Pruning must be done by someone who understands tree biology because no branch should be removed without reason.

Reasons for Pruning

The reasons for pruning trees have been organized and defined by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) which include:

  • Prune to Clean: Cleaning shall consist of pruning to remove one or more of the non-beneficial parts: dead, diseased and/or broken branches.
  • Prune to Thin: Thinning shall consist of selective pruning to reduce density of live branches.
  • Prune to Raise: Raising shall consist of pruning to provide vertical clearance.
  • Prune to Reduce: Reducing shall consist of pruning to decrease height and/or spread.

These methods of pruning when done correctly have been proven to improve canopy structure, reduce risk, improve aesthetics and prolong tree life.

A healthy structure of primary (scaffold) limbs is best established while a tree is young and proper pruning is essential for a tree to develop a strong structure and desirable shape.  Scaffold limbs are a mature trees framework which must be able to support the growth, weight and forces of leaves, fruits, annual tip growth and heavy rain and wind.  Trees that receive proper structural pruning while young require less corrective pruning when mature.  Every specie of tree has a unique natural pattern of scaffold limb growth and having someone versed in how to assist a tree through its canopy development is a necessity in establishing, maintaining and preserving your trees.

When to prune

Pruning to remove weak, diseased and dead branches can be accomplished at any time of year with little effect on a tree.  In general, new growth and pruning wound closure are maximized when pruning is done in the winter just before the spring growth push, making this the best time of year to prune trees.  Other benefits of dormant season pruning include:


  • Avoid Insect Damage pruning cuts made in the dormant season are much less likely to attract invasive plant-damaging insects.
  • Prevent Tree Disease Removal of dead and diseased branches and canopy thinning during the dormant season helps to prevent the spread of tree diseases and the increased circulation and sunlight penetration will benefit your shrubs and lawn next spring.
  • Storm Damage Prevention Removing weak or damaged limbs leaves a stronger tree more capable of managing severe winter weather and helps to reduce the risk of branch failure.
  • Increased Healing Rate Winter pruning causes less stress to trees allowing for healthy, robust growth in spring.  Healthy leaves are a trees primary food source and they should remain in the canopy through the growing season.
  • Precise Pruning It is easier to identify and cleanly prune out flaws in a trees structure once the leaves have fallen exposing the trees framework.
  • More Efficient Access to trees is often easier and potentially less damaging to the surrounding landscape plants and turf in the dormant season.
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