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Tree Pruning

Mature Tree Pruning Types of Pruning Pruning Young Trees
Timing of Pruning Wound Dressings Tree Climbing

 

Reasons to Prune Your Trees & Sarborist pruning american elm treehrubs

 

Mature Tree Care


Pruning is one of the most common tree care operations.  It is necessary to occasionally remove branches that have become a problem.  Examples of branches that we might remove are the following:  dead, dying, disease, broken, weakly attached, crossing, rubbing, low vigour and stub branches.  In addition we may remove branches that are too low to the ground or are too close to a building.large poplar tree being pruned

Pruning can also be done to allow more light and air movement through the crown.  This may increase the amount of light penetrating to the landscape below. 

Mature tree pruning should always be focused on removing the smallest branches possible.  This may be more labour intensive as you may have to make many smaller cuts rather then one larger cut.   Large branches should only be removed for specific reasons and those reasons should be explained to you prior to the branches being removed.  Large branches which are removed can leave an ugly scar on the tree which will never be able to grow over.  Note that trees do not heal themselves they can only hide their wounds and hopefully seal them off from decay. If the wound is to large this sealing can not happen.

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Types of Pruning


Crown clean up is a basic level of pruning.  This is the most common type of pruning we undertake.  It is as outlined above; the removal of:  dead, dying, diseased, broken, weakly attached, crossing, rubbing, low vigour and stub branches.pruning large poplar tree

Crown thinning is another term we may use to describe pruning that includes all of the above, but it will also include the selective removal of additional branches to increase branch spacing in order to facilitate more light, air movement, etc. Crown thinning will also reduce the weight on heavy branches.

Crown raising is the selective removal of lower limbs on the trunk in order to increase the clearance of the crown over the landscape, house, wires, walkways, driveways,  etc.  It may also improve the view of a river or other landscape.

Crown reduction is pruning to decrease the size of a tree where it may conflict with an object.  It can be done with fruit trees to reduce the size of the tree.  It can also be done to a branch that has gotten over extended and is at risk of breaking due to it’s weight.  Branches that are removed are cut back to an adequately sized lateral branch of at least 1/3 the size of the main branch you are cutting.   As a company Parkland Tree Care Ltd. does not commonly perform this kind of pruning with out much consultation with the tree owner.  We do not like the branch structure that results especially if it is on a fruit tree.  However crown reduction pruning is still a much better practice then tree topping.

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Pruning Young Trees


arborist pruning green ash treeIt is important to start the process of developing good branch structure early in the life of a tree.  If a tree is properly pruned when young it will require less corrective pruning when mature.  Proper pruning will enhance the natural beauty and strength of the tree. The tree to the left should have been pruned when it was young. It now has a co-dominant leader which is a weak attachment point for two large trunks. At this point nothing can be done except to install a cable and reduce or significantly thin this trunk.

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Timing of Pruning

Routine removal of dead, dying, disease, broken, weakly attached, crossing, rubbing, low vigour and stub branches can be done at almost any time of the year with a few exceptions as follows:

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Tree Climbing


We prefer to work in the tree using a rope and climbing saddle.  This allows us to readily access and inspect all parts of the tree.  A bucket truck is available if needed. 

Climbing spurs are never used in a tree when pruning or performing any service other then tree removal.

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Wound Dressings


Wound dressings were once very common as they were thought to reduce the potential for decay and protect from insects and diseases.  Research has shown wound dressings do not deliver what they promise.  Currently we do not recommend there use.  One exception might be when performing summer pruning on a fruit tree infected with fire blight bacterial disease.  A non-toxic paste or paint can be used to help reduce the potential spread of this disease to healthy branches of the tree.  Pruning paints made of toxic materials like petroleum byproducts should never be used.  Wood preservative products should also never be used on a tree.

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