While pruning a tree it is important to remove branch stubs and branches that are in direct contact. Be careful not to remove the larger branches in the tree unless they currently have disease or are dangerous branches because they will leave behind stubs that can cause many health problems including weak tree branch development.
Tree Pruning Improves Appearance
Pruning improves the trees appearance by promoting its natural form. Pruning controls tree size and shape by keeping the branches and leaves well-proportioned and dense and by removing unwanted, weak or branches with disease.
Tree Pruning Increases Safety
By removing weak, narrow-angled and dead tree branches that overhang homes, driveways and sidewalks you are protecting pedestrians who could be injured by a dangerous tree limb ready to fall. It is also important to remove tree branches that are close to street lights, power lines and wires and other important structures.
Types of Tree Pruning
- Crown thinning is the selective removal of tree branches with an emphasis on weak branches on the crown of a young tree. Doing this while the tree is young helps to promote tree health and form by increasing the amount of sunlight and air the young tree receives.
- Crown raising is done on developing or mature trees to remove lower branches to improve clearance over driveways, lawns, streets, sidewalks, etc.
- Crown cleaning is the removal of dead, dying, weak and diseased tree branches from the crown.
- Crown reduction reduces the height of a tree. It is the removal of large branches at the top of the tree. This process is not the same as topping which is the process of removing the whole top of a tree, tree topping should be avoided. Tree crown reduction pruning removes branches that are above lateral branches and it leaves no stubs. Crown reduction is not a common tree pruning request.
When to Prune Trees
The best time to prune your trees is in late winter when the tree is dormant and just before the spring seasons begins. Spring growth will begin the wound sealing process which is necessary after a tree has been pruned. In addition, it is much easier to prune a tree when its leaves are not blocking the tree branch structure.