How to Prune a Tree
12 , 2003
I have a new house and have never cared
for trees before, what do I need to know?
It is best to have a professional evaluate your trees and
see what recommendations are made. The following questions
and answers cover some common recommendations and maintenance
practices that will benefit most trees.
are some of the benefits of maintaining my trees?
Trees in the urban/suburban landscape have traditionally been
valued for their aesthetic qualities and shade they produce.
Especially in settled areas trees have many other important
Trees enhance property
values. Research shows that the value of your property could
increase up to 25 % depending on the size, type, location
and health of its trees. Mature trees are particularly valuable.
Therefore, it makes sense to protect your tree investment
with proper maintenance. You may wish to document the value
of your trees with photos and a professional landscape appraisal
for insurance and tax purposes.
help you save money and live more comfortably. With properly
placed trees around your house, depending upon where you live,
you can reduce winter heating bills up to 15%. A mature shade
tree can block up to 90% of solar radiation, which could translate
to a significant reduction in your home cooling cost. Trees
act as windbreaks and sun screens. They reduce air pollution
by producing oxygen through photosynthesis and reduce noise
pollution by acting as sound barriers.
Studies show that
trees have beneficial psychological effects on humans. They
decrease stress, inspire minds and break emotional barriers.
Around the workplace, they tend to lower absenteeism and improve
productivity. Many hospitals and nursing homes have beautiful
green trees around them, and evidence demonstrates that trees
can speed recovery from illness and are good for your health.
can help you determine the value of your trees. A knowledgeable
arborist is the best person to do appraisals. Just as a competent
auto mechanic can point out needed maintenance that you might
not notice, a competent, professional arborist can offer diagnosis
and preventative maintenance to keep your trees in top condition.
should my trees be pruned?
Pruning trees, especially when younger, helps promote healthy
trees with good branch architecture. Again, think of a tree
in its native environment, the forest. There the tree is in
stiff competition with other trees. It is forced to grow fast
and upright to fill what is usually a very limited space.
Trees growing in man-made conditions usually have much more
space and less competition. They will spread out to form much
broader trees than they would if located in the forest. The
branch structure will often be inadequate if the tree is left
to develop on its own. These trees can develop hazard limbs
that eventually could fail leading to an early tree death.
are many important practices that should not be ignored. Here
is a list of things to look out for:
- Not leave branch
- Make few or
no heading cuts
- Not cut off
the branch collar (do not make a flush cut)
- Not top or lion's
- Not remove more
than 25% of the foliage of a single branch
- Not remove more
than 25 % of the total tree foliage in a single year
- Not damage other
parts of the tree during pruning
- Not use wound
It is important
to be aware of the things that can negatively affect your