What is Structural Pruning?
Pruning is the act of removing branches from a tree. This can be done for a variety of reasons. A branch might be rotting or about to fall, branches could be growing towards power lines or other structures, a property owner might prefer the tree to have a cleaner look, or the trees could be trimmed in order to ensure that the tree grows healthy and strong. The process of pruning a tree to make sure that it is structurally sound and strong is called Structural Pruning.
Structural Pruning Process
It is important to conduct the structural pruning process in the wintertime when the tree is dormant. During this season, most trees have lost their leaves, making it easier for tree care professionals to get a clear view of the structure and make accurate decisions regarding which branches to remove.
- Identify, develop, and maintain a dominant leader.
- Identify the lowest hanging branch in the permanent canopy.
- Inhibit the growth of branches that are below the permanent canopy.
- Inhibit the growth of branches with bark inclusions (two branches/stems growing together in a V-formation).
- Ensure that branches are properly spaced along the dominant trunk.
- Eliminate any dead or damaged branches.
Additional structural pruning can take place during the summertime. Pruning during this time of year is a great way to prevent unwanted growth from the tree. This is done through the removal of water sprouts and suckers from the rootstock.
Dangers of Pruning Incorrectly
Structural Pruning is not an easy task and should be undertaken by a certified arborist. If a tree is pruned incorrectly, or outdated practices are employed, it could lead to visually unappealing trees, unwanted growth, and create future hazards. Tree Topping is a perfect example of an outdated practice.
Tree Topping is the process of wantonly removing copious amounts of leaves and branches from the top of a tree. This leaves the tree in rough shape visually, and actually promotes rapid growth which in turn requires more frequent maintenance.
Lastly, topping a tree causes structural damage. Rather than creating a sturdy, healthy tree with controlled growth, the tree experiences the exact opposite. The structural damage caused by this practice could create hazards for property owners. A certified arborist will be able to help you avoid ending up in this situation. Their expertise allows them to carefully assess the trees on your property in order to schedule a series of regular cuts that will carefully shape the tree’s growth.
Call Our Certified Arborists
“They are wonderful. I had them take down 4 pine trees at my home in Southern Hills. They are very efficient and professional. They know what they are doing! My yard was hardly affected by their presence since they took great care to minimize yard damage. They even cleaned the road after they were done. HIRE THEM YOU WILL NOT BE SORRY. “
– Joe Weston
“Tree Care [by Robert Miller] had trimmed up trees as well as taken down sixteen trees. It was a big job that took all day and they worked continuously to get it all done. They went above and beyond what was expected. Professional, respectful and would recommend them to anyone that wants quality work. Extremely satisfied with the end results. Thank you!”
– Luann U Peritzian