Tree Trimming or Pruning
Trimming, or pruning, is the most common tree maintenance procedure. Landscape trees require more attention than forest grown trees to maintain their structural integrity and aesthetics. Pruning must be done with an understanding of tree biology, and improper pruning can create lasting damage or even shorten the tree’s life.
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Reasons for Pruning
Why Hire an Arborist
Why Topping Trees HurtsCommon reasons for pruning are to remove dead branches, to improve form, and to reduce risk of the tree failing. Trees may also be pruned to increase light and air penetration to the inside of the tree’s crown or to the landscape below.
When to Prune
Most routine pruning to remove weak, diseased, or dead limbs can be accomplished any time during the year with little effect on the tree. There are some trees, like Oaks, that are not to be trimmed until winter, limiting the spread of Oak Wilt.
Cleaning is the removal of dead, dying, diseased, weakly attached branches from the crown of a tree.
Thinning is selective branch removal to improve structure and to increase light penetration and air movement through the crown.
Raising removes the lower branches from a tree to provide clearance for buildings, vehicles, and pedestrians.
Reduction reduces the size of a tree. Reducing a tree’s height or spread is best accomplished by pruning back the main leaders to secondary branches that are large enough to assume the terminal roles. Compared to topping, reduction helps maintain the form and structural integrity of the tree.
Pruning Young Trees
Proper pruning is essential in developing a tree with a strong structure and desirable form. Trees that receive the appropriate trimming measures while they are young will require less corrective trimming as they mature.
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