A Guide to Tree Pruning

How to prune a tree?

Well, tree pruning will depend primarily on the special circumstances of the tree in question. While there are some general rules regarding the different pruning types, the timing of pruning and the frequency of pruning, the work performed needs to be adjusted to the situation and goals of each tree owner, within reason.

The following are general guidelines for the most common frequencies, timing and types of pruning for some of the trees you will find in our region.

Frequency of Pruning

Deciduous trees

Most deciduous trees will benefit from pruning every 3-5 years. This frequency may need to be increased if the trees are close to or over structures.
Pruning a tree more heavily less frequently in order to avoid regular pruning often creates the opposite of the desired effect. The tree sends out significant new growth in response to the heavy pruning, resulting in more frequent follow-ups. There is a delicate balance of taking just the right amount that must be maintained, something the arborists at Agility Trees are well-versed in.

Evergreen trees

Most Evergreen trees need to be pruned every 3-5 years. This frequency may need to be increased if the trees are close to or over structures. When in doubt, it is always better to get the opinion of a professional.

Ornamental trees

Most ornamental trees can be pruned at the specific tastes of the owner. Most commonly, these types of trees are pruned yearly or every other year. Some, however, are pruned as much as twice a year to achieve the desired look. It depends on the preferences of the owner and the situation more than anything.

Timing of Pruning

The timing of pruning your trees is very dependent of the type and condition of the tree. If your tree has not been regularly maintained, the best time to prune is now. If you have kept to a regular tree pruning schedule then the best timing for pruning will depend on the type of tree and your convenience.

Types of Pruning

Full Pruning

Bring out the best in your trees and shrubs by showcasing what nature already did. The form of the tree is strengthened, accented, and cleared by removing what does not fit. Dead, diseased, rubbing, and duplicated limbs are eliminated.

Better aesthetics will lead to better health for your tree. Opening things up and removing the excess and dead limbs allow more air to circulate through the remaining limbs and branches. This increased air circulation can improve a wide range of tree health issues, from insect colonies to fungal growth, all without the need for chemical intervention.

Heavy Thinning

On occasion, a tree can grow too large for its setting or too old to support some of the furthest growth from the root system. In these cases, we will sometimes suggest tree removal. However, there is a pruning remedy. Crown reduction pruning is a way of cutting back tips and leaving certain leaders to create a new, lower crown.

Crown Restoration

If a tree has been topped, we can begin the process of restoration with the first pruning. We reduce the number of leaders struggling for light and separate these as evenly as possible. If done properly, after a pruning cycle lasting several years, a tree that has been “ruined” can often be reclaimed, and go on for years and years after the event.

Crown Lifting

Growth is mainly a function of available light. Light, for a tree, is food, and leaves are the tree’s stomach. When a tall, straight tree gains more growth on top, it is natural that it will lose limbs on the bottom. We anticipate this action by pruning the lowest limbs on many of conifers and large deciduous trees. It keeps them healthy and encourages upward growth.

Expert arborist showing how to prune a tree

If you ever have questions about your particular tree, call us on 024058 3149 to schedule an appointment.

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