TREE PRUNING

Traverso Tree Service

Pruning is the most common tree maintenance procedure.

Although forest trees grow quite well with only nature’s pruning, landscape trees require a higher level of care to maintain their safety and aesthetics. Pruning should be done with an understanding of how the tree responds to each cut. Improper pruning can cause damage that will last for the life of the tree, or worse, shorten the tree’s life or cause a failure.

Why should you prune your trees?

Common reasons for pruning are to remove dead branches, to remove crowded or rubbing limbs, and to eliminate hazards. Because each cut has the potential to change the growth of the tree, no branch should be removed without a reason. Trees may also be pruned to increase light and air penetration to the inside of the tree’s crown or to the landscape below. In most cases, mature trees are pruned as a corrective or preventive measure.

Routine thinning does not necessarily improve the health of a tree. Trees produce a dense crown of leaves to manufacture the sugar used as energy for growth and development. Removal of foliage through pruning can reduce growth and stored energy reserves. Heavy pruning can be a significant health stress for the tree.

Yet if people and trees are to coexist in an urban or suburban environment, then we sometimes have to modify the trees. City environments do not mimic natural forest conditions. Safety is a major concern. Also, we want trees to complement other landscape features. Proper pruning, with an understanding of tree biology, can maintain good tree health and structure while enhancing the aesthetic and economic values of our landscapes.

By using proper equipment, climbers can safely enter the tree without damaging it. Climbers can tie in safely and work throughout tree to make proper cuts to remove deadwood and reduce heavy end weight. A climber should NEVER spur up a living tree to be trimmed as spurs damage the tree. Spurs are only to be used in removals.

(8) Some content from www.treesaregood.org and used with permission of the International Society of Arboriculture.

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