What is Tree Pruning?

If you’re a homeowner, you may be wondering, “What is tree pruning?” Here are the main types of pruning. Branches are pruned to increase their height for clearance, thinning the branches improves tree health, and cleaning is a method of removing weak and dead branches. A qualified tree service can safely and effectively trim trees, while preserving the aesthetic beauty of the tree. Read on for more information.


Topping is a form of tree pruning that involves removing up to fifty percent of a tree’s leaf-bearing crown. Because trees depend on leaves as food, removing them is harmful to the tree. Also, the process can activate dormant bugs and trigger the growth of multiple limbs below the cut. Unless trees are trained from a young age to prune properly, topping is not a good idea.

When a tree is topped, it doesn’t return to its natural form. Topped branches are also prone to rot and insect infestation. Consequently, tree owners will need to spend money on spraying and inspections to prevent these problems. In addition, topping trees can result in premature tree death. It’s best to avoid this practice and stick to standard pruning. Topping is a common practice, but it should not be used.

While many people think that topping a tree will keep it from growing too high, the opposite is true. Toppers often leave a large stub after topping. This leaves the tree’s crown vulnerable to decay and insects, and it may even cause the tree to revert to its original height. Furthermore, topping a tree may only work as a temporary solution to a tree’s growth problem, because the trees will respond by sending out multiple sprouts.

Aside from reducing property value, it is also harmful to the tree. In addition to being unsightly, topped trees will never return to their natural form, which makes them an undesirable addition to any landscape. The cost of topping a tree is not just the job itself, but also its removal. While it may not cost much to remove the tree, it will most likely require a complete overhaul in a few years. If you don’t want to risk this, you should contact a tree expert instead.

Structural (Subordination) Cuts

There are a few different types of structural cuts in tree pruning. One cut is called a co-dominant cut, as it involves reducing a dominant branch’s length. This technique is particularly useful in tree pruning in which competing branches or leaders are not attached well, and are easily split during a storm. Another cut is called a structural (subordination) cut, which involves reducing a branch’s length and encouraging another to grow and take over as the main leader.

A structural pruning cut is designed to create a dominant leader structure that is more stable and strong than a competing leader. By making reduction cuts, a tree’s stems are reduced by one-third and are forced to grow to a small-diameter lateral branch. The reduced diameter creates a compact union, and future growth is forced into the dominant leader. It also reduces competition.

A reduction cut should be made to the most dominant leader by reducing its length. The final pruning cut should be made in the branch tissue outside the collar and ridge of the parent branch. The remaining branches that remain after a complete pruning are called stubs. When making pruning cuts, ensure the proportion of live branches to deadwood is not more than 60%, and that the lower 40 percent of the tree is unbranched. Complete pruning is another way to increase clearance from wires, buildings, sidewalks, and buildings.

Structure is very important in trees. Trees with multiple branches with weak unions are not stable. Without a central frame, they cannot withstand storms, and often have structural problems. Structural pruning removes competing stems from the tree and promotes growth of a single leader. When performed correctly, structural pruning can also reduce the maintenance costs of the tree. You may want to consider using this technique on mature trees.

Thinning the Crown

Thinning the crown is one of the most common forms of tree pruning. By removing some of the tree’s live branches, you can make the crown less dense, increase sunlight penetration, and reduce the stress on selected limbs. Thinning can also improve the appearance of the landscape by removing unproductive branches. Regardless of the reason, it will improve the health and look of the tree. This type of pruning is best for mature trees.

Many homeowners thin the branches of trees because arborists recommend it. Other reasons include aesthetics. Trees with thin crowns look better. In addition, tree thinning has become a common practice in many parts of the world. Moreover, regions without tree thinning tend to have fewer storm-related tree damage. But there are many other benefits of thinned branches. Before you decide to thin the entire crown of a tree, you should consider structural pruning first. This method is perhaps the most effective way to thin the crown of a tree.

While crown thinning may seem like a good idea, many people misapply it. Crown reduction, which involves removing less of the live crown than is required, leaves two-thirds of the tree with large wounds and stubs that can cause decay. Crown thinning can reduce the overall tree weight and increase the tree’s stability, but it’s not a permanent solution. And it will leave a huge pile of brush on the ground.

While thinning the crown when tree pruning is a necessary part of tree pruning, it is advisable to do it consistently across the entire tree. In addition, small cuts that are one to four inches in diameter are less efficient for reducing wind damage. Small-sized ornamental trees, crabapples, and citrus trees can also be thinned by pruning the ends of limbs. But, it’s important to keep in mind that proper thinning doesn’t reduce the overall size of the tree.

Stimulating the Growth of Small Branches

The best way to promote branch growth in trees and shrubs is to prune in such a way that the small branches that will grow in their place will have a strong root system. By stimulating the growth of these small branches, you can encourage the tree to produce more large branches in the future. When tree pruning, avoid cutting back large branch heads that have a small branch at the end, as this will not only look ugly but will also increase the chances of the small branch growing up from a weakened and unstable branch stub.

Another way to encourage the growth of small branches is to perform heading cuts on young trees. Heading cuts, which eliminate the lower branches, encourage the growth of lateral shoots located closest to the cut. This method promotes vigorous shoot growth, but delays the development of flower bud development. The length of time that this process lasts depends on the species of the tree and the type of pruning used. Heading cuts also reduce the size of the above-ground portion of the tree. The remaining shoots and buds gain relative size and are exposed to the disease.

After removing the distal branches, the branches are now ready for further pruning. After the branches are 10 inches in length, they are now ready to be removed. This process forces the tree to produce more new cells by forcing a hormonal surge. During the first buds of the tree, it is best to remove the laterals and stimulate new branch growth. This process will cause the tree to grow more branches in the future.

Avoiding Vulnerable Times of Year to Prune

Pruning trees at vulnerable times can invite disease and infestation. Pruning during the dormant season will protect the trees from disease and make them less susceptible to attack when temperatures rise. Pruning in the spring and summer can encourage oak wilt, a disease that spreads quickly during spring. During these times, a tree will need protection from pruning to grow healthy and strong. Here are some tips for pruning trees at vulnerable times.

Pruning during the winter months is safe for trees. During this season, most plants go dormant, and therefore don’t produce new growth that could be damaged by cold temperatures. In addition, pests and disease-causing organisms are less active, so trees can recover more quickly. However, pruning in the summer may result in the loss of the tree’s leaves and lower energy levels. Therefore, it is recommended that you prune in the fall to prevent a tree from going dormant before winter.

Another important time to prune is in early fall. When pruning in autumn, the leaves are falling, and new growth will be vulnerable to cold temperatures. The new growth will die off as winter sets in. In addition, cuts in healthy branches and limbs weaken the tree’s defenses against pests and infectious diseases. If you have trees in your yard, this time is the best time to prune them. However, if you’re pruning during the winter, you will need to avoid the vulnerable times.

The best time to prune a tree depends on its species and the species. Elm trees, for instance, should only be pruned during their dormant period. This season is also the best time for pruning as bark beetles are inactive during this time. During winter, it’s best to remove dead or diseased branches and leaves, so you won’t have to worry about them infecting your tree.