Question: Why are you pruning your tree? Goals for proper pruning.
August 22, 2013
Here at Preservation Tree Services, we believe the results of pruning should produce healthy, structurally sound, and aesthetically pleasing trees. Sometimes pruning is necessary to correct current and potential problems, but it should always be done safely, cautiously, and selectively. A tree that is pruned incorrectly often ends up in worse shape than it was before it was pruned. Corrective pruning can also cost more in the long run.
A common mistake made while pruning is a style that is known as lion tailing---removing much of the growth of a tree’s interior while leaving the ends of the branches full and bushy. While this can be dramatic, especially with effective lighting, it is unnatural and leaves the tree vulnerable to damage from ice storms. It is far better for the health of the tree to prune the ends of branches, which allows for healthy growth on the interior of the canopy, the way nature intended.
We believe that it is in your best interest to have a good idea of what you want to accomplish before beginning a pruning job. Some of your trees may need special attention because they pose a potential danger to life/property. We call this hazard reduction pruning. It includes the removal of dead or diseased limbs over structures or pedestrian areas. It may also include trimming of lower limbs and branches that cause obstructions for vehicular or pedestrian traffic. Tree limbs and branches in proximity to power lines are also a cause for concern.
Another goal of our work is what we term maintenance pruning. It is sometimes appropriate to schedule this type of pruning in phases throughout the year. Some maintenance procedures are better done at different times depending on the weather. Removal of dead wood is more satisfactorily accomplished during the growing season when a tree is full of greenery. Fine shaping and mistletoe removal is best done when a tree is in its dormant stage. Planning for tree care throughout the year is also easier on a homeowner’s budget.
The knowledgeable professionals at Preservation Tree Services will not top trees. Topping is the indiscriminate removal of large portions of a tree’s crown. We feel there is no more severe injury that can be done to a tree. This practice promotes weak and unsightly limb growth, as well as making a tree more susceptible to storm damage, disease and insect infestation. Simply put, there is no real benefit to this practice.