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6 Tree Pruning Methods

Certified arborists, such as yours truly, use several different techniques of tree pruning, depending on the objectives.

The most common include:

  1. Crown Cleaning

  2. Thinning

  3. Raising

  4. Reduction

  5. Restoration

  6. Utility Pruning

Crown Cleaning

Crown cleaning is the selective removal of dead, diseased, broken, or weakly-attached branches from a tree crown.

This is the most common pruning technique for landscape trees.

Regular pruning should correct small growth problems before they develop into large problems.

Crown Thinning

Crown thinning includes crown cleaning, as well as selective removal of branches to increase light penetration and air movement through the crown, and to improve structure.

Increased light stimulates and maintains interior foliage, and increased air flow can improve health.

Thinning toward the tips of a branch can reduce the wind-sail effect of foliar clumps in the crown and relieve the weight of heavy limbs.

Proper thinning should retain the tree’s natural shape and structural beauty. Removing too much foliage with tree pruning can have adverse effects on the tree and should be avoided.

Crown Raising

Trees in urban and landscape settings may need to have lower limbs removed.

Crown raising removes the lower branches of a tree in order to provide clearance for buildings, signs, vehicles, pedestrians, and lines of sight.

Avoid excessive removal of lower limbs so that development of trunk taper is not affected and structural stability is maintained.

Crown Reduction

Sometimes the crown of a tree must be reduced in height or spread, such as for utility line clearance.

Crown reduction is used to reduce the size of a tree.

This is best accomplished by cutting limbs back to their point of origin or back to laterals capable of sustaining the remaining limb.

Crown Restoration

If a tree has been topped previously and has sprouted vigorously or has sustained storm damage, crown restoration can improve its structure and appearance.

Restoration consists of the selective removal of some watersprouts, stubs, and dead branches to improve a tree’s structure and form.

Utility Pruning

Utility pruning is the removal of branches or stems to prevent the loss of service, prevent damage to utility equipment, provide access for utility workers, and uphold the intended usage of utility facilities.

Tree pruning for power line clearance is a specialized job and must be done by professionals.

Got trees and need tree service in northern Spokane, Deer Park or surrounding areas? Call certified arborist Darren Palmer. Request your free estimate now.

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