Different Types of Tree Pruning

Isn’t pruning just cutting off part of a branch? The answer is yes and no. Yes, because it is cutting off a part of a branch. No, because it is more complicated than just lopping off a part of a tree.

Pruning is a technique arborists use to maintain or improve your tree’s health and remove hazards. However, there are different methods of pruning. The method used depends on the tree species and the result you want to achieve. Your certified arborist can advise you on the best approach for your tree.

If you aren’t sure if your tree needs to be pruned, check out this post.

The following is a sample of the various pruning methods

Crown Cleaning

The arborist removes the diseased, dead, or dying branches from a tree. They “clean” the tree of all the rubbish branches. It’s also called deadwooding.

These branches can take resources away from healthy branches, weaken the tree, and be falling hazards.

Crown cleaning differs from crown reduction because few, if any, healthy branches are removed.

Crown Reduction

An arborist will use crown reduction when the crown’s height and/or breadth are too large. Both unhealthy and healthy branches can be removed.

The goal is a tree with the same shape and outline it started with but smaller.

Not all trees are suited for crown reduction. Please check with your arborist.

Crown Thinning

Also called spiral pruning, an arborist removes smaller branches from the crown of a tree.

Crown thinning has several benefits:

  • More light penetrates the tree
  • Lessens wind resistance so the tree is less likely to be knocked down in a storm
  • Improves sightlines
  • Reduces the weight of the crown and its stress on the trunk

It doesn’t usually alter the size or shape of the tree. 

Directional Pruning

An arborist can manage the general direction in which branches grow with directional pruning. 

We will usually use directional pruning when a tree encroaches on areas where it doesn’t belong or could cause problems. These areas include:

  • Power lines
  • Sides or roofs of buildings
  • Driveways and roadways

An arborist will remove branches growing into undesirable areas. With the removal of these branches, the tree will direct its energy towards growing the remaining branches.

Fruit Tree Pruning

This is a form of directional pruning. An arborist strategically prunes a fruit tree to focus the tree’s energy on the fruit-producing branches and away from non-producing ones.

It can increase the production and lifespan of your fruit trees.

When caring for your trees, our arborists could use one of the above methods, a combination of the methods, or one or more of the other pruning techniques not covered here.

We will always choose the best method for the species of tree and for attaining the desired results.

If your trees need pruning, call our team of SUPERTREEOES at 250-650-1503.

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