Tree Pruning

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Trees in the urban environment require regular care and maintenance to maintain their health, aesthetics and above all safety. Outside of their natural habitat, the way in which they grow is changed dramatically. Tree pruning should be done with knowledge about the individual tree and tree biology as a whole.

Improper tree pruning can cause irreparable damage to a tree (Why Not to Lop). It can make changes to a trees form, cause stress and decline, and in some cases, result in death. Making pruning cuts, even when correct is still wounding the tree and can alter the way in which a tree behaves, stores food reserves, uses water and defends itself against attack. So no branches should be removed without a reasonable objective. Our Arborists understand how a tree will respond to the pruning that will be performed and what type of tree pruning should be conducted.

The way in which a tree is pruned and when, varies throughout its stages of life. Younger trees usually have more dynamic growth and respond to pruning wounds very differently from mature trees. Young trees are generally pruned for a strong scaffold structure, trunk development and permanent branch selection. These things give the adolescent tree a good form to grow into, that requires little corrective procedure as they mature.

Mature trees, as with mature people, are usually not so quick to recover from wounding. Therefore, deliberate care must be taken in choosing which branches should be removed… if any. If managed correctly in its youth very little pruning should be required to an aging tree. The amount of live tissue that should be removed in a pruning procedure depends on many variables such as the trees size, species, age, and of course, the objective. Common reasons for pruning mature trees include: to remove dead and dying limbs, crowded, twisted or rubbing limbs; eliminate hazardous limbs; and to shorten or reduce the weight of limbs that are long and heavy and have a greater probability of failure.

Mature trees may also be pruned to allow for light and air penetration either to the inside of the trees crown or to the landscape and buildings below as well as clearance from structures and services.

Proper pruning, with an understanding of tree biology, can maintain good tree health and structure whilst enhancing the aesthetic and economic value of your landscape.