Proper pruning can help a tree to grow in ways that can be beneficial for the tree and for the tree’s owner. It may appear to be a simple process, but there are many different variables to consider when deciding if and when a tree or shrub should be pruned. These range from the age, size, structure, health, and location of a particular tree; as well as the time of year in which it’s pruned.
This is why throughout the entire process we will ensure that you are educated and informed about every aspect of our pruning operation and how it relates to the health of your trees, at the same time ensuring your objectives are met. We guarantee that all pruning will take place with one or more of our certified arborists on site to ensure that industry standards are followed (ANSI A300 Part 1).
Helping trees live with people is the fundamental essence of who we are and what we do at Tree Health Management.
There are five different pruning methods that can be applied depending on the situation.
Structural: This method is used to alter the structure of the tree into a form that more closely resembles its appearance in a natural forested landscape. The intention is to make specific pruning cuts while the tree is young to develop a strong center for the tree. This will reduce the probability of many of the structural defects effecting medium aged to mature trees in the urban landscape. These defects if unaddressed can lead to portions of the tree failing and tearing out. The tree is negatively effected by this disturbance, and eventually will decline
Cleaning: This procedure is used to remove dead, dying, diseased, rubbing, or hanging branches in the canopy over a specified diameter. This is done to minimize the risk of branches detaching and falling out of the canopy, as well as for other health and aesthetic reasons.
Thinning: Thinning is done to remove particular branches in the canopy to reduce the density of foliage. This is typically done to reduce wind load and potential storm damage, as well as open up avenues for more light penetration. The results from this type of pruning can be temporary, as many deciduous trees will produce rebound growth that matches the original canopy a few years after pruning.
Reducing: This is done when selective branches are pruned to reduce the overall size of a tree. This approach can be used to great effect on smaller ornamental trees, however its use on larger mature trees is generally not recommended.
Raising: Raising is performed to provide clearance for some object or person (house, sidewalk, road, etc.), or to optimize sight lines from certain perspectives on the property (lake vistas, etc.).
Notice we did not include “topping” as one of the methods. By “topping”, or indiscriminately reducing the length of the branches in the upper canopy to a uniform height, one is destroying the structure of the tree, as well as exposing it to damage from sun exposure, insects, canker, and root diseases. Although research has proven the negative effects of this type of pruning, it is still widely practiced in certain areas.