Tree Pruning and Preservation

Tree Preservation

At STC, we highly value the role trees play in our daily lives.  Trees serve as noise and temperature buffers, help stabilize soils, filter air and water all while adding to the overall aesthetics of your landscape. 

Proper maintenance of your trees and shrubs will promote their health, beauty and extend their lifespan. STC’s ISA certified arborists will help you identify pruning objectives to best preserve your trees.  All pruning will meet the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A300 standards & the International Society of Arboriculture's best management practices.  Our arborists may recommend different pruning techniques depending on the objectives.  

The most common pruning practices include crown cleaning, thinning, reduction, restoration and raising. Crown cleaning is the removal of dead, dying, diseased, crowded, weakly attached and low vigor branches from the crown of the tree.  Thinning is the selective removal of branches to increase light penetration and air movement through the crown and to improve structure.  Raising removes the lower branches of a tree in order to provide clearance.  Reduction reduces the height or spread of a tree and is best accomplished by pruining back the leaders and branch terminals to lateral branches that are large enough to assume the terminal roles.  Crown raising or reduction is frequently recommended in order to help maintain buildings roofs, siding and gutters.  You can learn more about different pruning techniques at: the trees are good website.

Trees that have been pruned improperly in the past may not be too far gone for restoration. They may require a couple of pruning sessions over the course of a period of time due to not wanting to remove more than 25% of the tree canopy in any one pruning. The shock associated with over pruning can lead to imbalances in the overall system of the tree and ultimately to its decline or death.

Some Misconceptions

"That tree needs to come down."
The wrong species may be planted in a less than ideal spot in the urban landscape but that does not necessarily mean it needs to be removed. A crown reduction will decrease the height of a tree and improve its structural integrity making it more suitable for its surroundings.  Our arborists can discuss options to tree removal with you.

"That tree needs to be topped."

Topping is cutting back a tree to a predetermined crown limit, and is not a recommended pruning practice.  Topping can lead to branch dieback, decay, and unstable sprout production from the cut ends, resulting in a potentially hazardous situation once the sprouts become large and heavy.  You can learn more about the reasons why not to have your trees topped  by clicking here.

 

Pruning without regards to tree health to decrease the size is a practice that should be avoided. It creates issues in the long term such as decay in structural wood, susceptibility to disease and insects and potentially over stressing to the point of decline.

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