Tree Trimming & Pruning
Reasons for Pruning
Considering each cut on a tree increases the potential risk of shortening its life span and altering its health, no branch should be removed without reason. Common reasons for pruning include removing dead branches, crowded limbs, and taking out hazardous parts of the tree. Pruning should stimulate growth of leaves and depending on the species and time of year, can stimulate flower and fruit production. Pruning wisely with long-term goals and tree health in mind is wise. Smart pruning in combination with preventative pest care is an ideal combination and the best strategy to promote healthy trees and a beautiful landscape.
When to Prune
Thinning a tree too frequently (depending on species) can be detrimental to a tree’s health. A tree’s thick crown of leaves produce the sugar that is stored and used for energy and growth. Removing too much of this foliage can reduce those stores of energy and deplete the health of the tree. Although, sometimes it is necessary to alter a tree due to landscape requirements in certain areas. City environments are not natural conditions for trees, and safety can be a concern. Most pruning can be done any time of the year without producing harmful effects on the tree. Usually, tree growth is increased and wounds heal fastest if pruning takes place before spring. Heavy pruning that takes place after the flush of spring growth should be avoided. During the spring growth period, trees utilize large amounts of energy to produce foliage. Pruning a tree after this time can put stress on its health. It is important to be aware of specific pruning conditions and to have an understanding of tree biology in order to maintain the health of a tree while enhancing the aesthetic and monetary value of your landscapes.
Types of Pruning
There are specific types of pruning that may be necessary to maintain a trees health in a safe and effective way. Some of these procedures can be used to create aesthetically pleasing landscapes.
- Cleaning – The process of cleaning involves removing dead, diseased, dying, crowded, or loose limbs from the foliage of the tree. This is an approach that thins the crown to create a more visually appealing landscape.
- Thinning – Thinning is used to open the thick foliage of the tree. This is to increase air ventilation throughout the limbs and open areas so more sunlight can be exposed to surrounding plants. It also helps a tree maintain its natural shape.
- Raising – In order to open up space under the tree, the raising technique is commonly used. This is when the lower branches are removed to make room for other structures below the branches.
- Reduction – This process reduces the height and spread of the tree to create clearance for utility lines. Topping should be avoided – it changes hormone ratios and distribution in the tree with serious consequences to tree root growth and structural integrity.