We enjoy the natural form of trees, but sometimes that form needs a little help to keep the shape and tree structure appropriate to it's surroundings. How, when and what all need to be considered when thinking about pruning a tree.
Pruning should always be done with an eye toward protecting the living tree. If the limbs that need to be pruned are not accessible from the ground, spurless climbing methods should be used. Topping a tree may be desirable for a flowering ornamental but would be disastrous for a full sized tree. When pruning large branches, special care should be taken to cut the branch so the tree can heal quickly. A smooth sloping cut will allow water to flow away from the bark and help in the healing process.
The best time of year to prune depends a bit on tree species and the desired effect for regrowth. A tree pruned in winter will often regrow vigorously as compared to a tree pruned in midsummer. For many trees winter is a good time to prune while dormant, but there are exceptions to this as some trees need to be pruned during the growing season to properly heal. Trees like Plum and Cherry which are in the Prunus genus are examples of this.
The end goal of pruning is a happy, safe and beautiful tree. Big heavy branches hanging over gutters are prime candidates for pruning as well as branches that criss-cross each other, rub, or touch a building. Storm damaged sections and dead branches should also be removed to allow the tree to heal properly. Pruning lower branches from the trunk often cleans up a tree nicely and results in very little suckering. Sometimes all it takes is a few branches pruned to bring in more sunshine and better airflow to a backyard, making it a much nicer place to hang out.
Here's a before and after of a tree we recently pruned. Doesn't it look much happier?
Check out our Pruning service and see what we can do to help keep your trees happy, safe and beautiful!