Tree trimming is one of the most important maintenance practices in professional tree care, and can go a long way towards helping you achieve your dream landscape. There are essentially two tree care objectives in pruning trees and trimming shrubs. Hazard reduction tree pruning addresses a specific danger caused by visibly defined safety issues in your trees. Maintenance tree pruning preserves or improves tree health and structure. Special care is taken to encourage structural integrity, appearance, tree safety and the overall health of your trees.
Benefits of Tree Trimming
Tree pruning and tree trimming by professionals provide a variety of benefits to your trees. Tree pruning for health includes the removal of broken, diseased, or dead branches in order to prevent decay-producing fungi from penetrating and infecting other areas of your tree. The removal of live branches is occasionally necessary to allow increased exposure to sunlight and circulation of air within the canopy.
Trimming trees for structure enhancement is accomplished through young tree pruning also known as developmental tree pruning. These are the most important procedures for your new plantings to help ensure desirable branch architecture and structure integrity. In addition, proper tree trimming of young specimens now will reduce the potential of costly problems and the need for structural support and as your landscape matures.
Tree pruning for appearance and restoration is essential for maximizing the beauty of formal planting and landscapes. In particular, we advocate aesthetic tree care when characteristics form of your trees has deteriorated.
Safety audits and storm damage prevention are crucial to eliminating the danger and damage caused by falling limbs. This is particularly a concern for trees along driveways, pedestrian paths, and surrounding buildings. Also, we recommend trimming trees with low-hanging branches
Types of tree pruning
Arborists and tree surgeons tend to classify pruning according to where about in the crown branches are removed from. Whatever type of pruning you are doing, you should remember that trees need their leaves in order to produce food – never remove more than 30% of the live foliage from a tree at once. If the tree is less than perfectly healthy, you should remove less than this.
Here are some of most commons types of pruning.
Crown lifting involves removing the lower branches in the crown. This is often done to provide clearance, over paths or roads for example, or sometimes to allow more light to pass beneath the crown. Crown lifting often has limited impact on the amenity of a tree because it does not change the more visible higher parts of the crown. On the other hand, lower branches tend to be bigger so the wounds are larger, which can have an adverse effect on the tree’s health.
You should avoid leaving a clear stem that is more than one third of the tree’s total height. Lower branches have an important role to play in dampening the sway of a tree in high winds.
Crown thinning involves the selective removal of branches throughout the crown, such that the overall shape of the crown is not significantly changed. Crown thinning increases light penetration and air circulation throughout the crown.
It is important to work throughout the crown, including its outer edges, focusing on removing small diameter branches. Removing too many branches from the centre of the crown can result in a tree with poor structure with a few points that can be pruned back to in the future. It can also result in long, thin branches that have little foliage in their lower parts to dampen swaying, putting extra stress on the tree in high winds.
Crown reduction is the reduction in overall size of the crown by shortening branches, cutting back to a suitable growth point. Crown reduction is usually used where a tree has outgrown the space it stands in. Crown reduction often results in large wounds at the branch ends, which may start to decay. It should be seen as a last resort.
When carrying out a crown reduction branches should be cut back to suitable side branches and a flowing branch line maintained, reflecting the natural shape of the tree. Poorly executed crown reduction is known as topping and is very bad practice – see the ‘Useful links’ box for more on why.
Crown reduction should not be carried out on trees with a pyramidal shape, such as many conifers and birches.
To reduce the length of over-extended, end-heavy lateral branches throughout the canopy. This is done for the same reasons as Crown reduction above, but is limited to just the more lateral branches and does not include reduction of the height of leading stems in the upper canopy. This is our primary pruning method to improve safety and reduce risk of falling branches in trees.
To remove certain identified branches for a specific reason. This is more often to make a tree fit with the clients’ needs than it is for an improvement in the tree’s own structure or health.
To reduce or remove branches as required to provide physical clearance of a certain target. Usually to maintain distance from utility service wires, gutters or of trees over the boundaries of neighboring properties.
To reduce or remove branches as required to correct or prevent structural defects and encourage good form. Often done on juvenile trees to prevent many of the above pruning requirements in later years.
To reduce or remove branches as required to correct structural defects and restore a foundation for future growth. Usually done on mature trees to repair damages after major failures from storm events, other mechanical damage or previous poor ‘pruning ‘practices.
The removal of dead, dying, diseased, detached or broken branches is specified to improve crown appearance and long life of the tree. It gives you more light and enables the tree to grow to its full potential. The formation of dead wood within the crown of a tree is part of the natural system of tree life and without removing this it decreases the health of a trees’ growth. We have the machinery and skills available to take care of all dead wood in your trees