Fall 2009 - All Pruning Is Not Equal

By: Jeffrey P. Hagfors, Certified Arborist WI-0181A

Spring Newsletter in Adobe PDF format A knowledgeable, experienced arborist knows that all tree pruning is not equal. The arborist assesses each tree individually and then decides what type of pruning the tree is in need of. Crown cleaning, crown thinning, crown raising,crown restoration, deadwood pruning and training pruning are nationally accepted standards of tree pruning developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The standards are extensive and involved. They are there to protect the consumer. At Wachtel Tree Science our knowledgeable and experienced Certified Arborists will help you benefit from these standards and assist you in determining what type of pruning your trees will need.

The different types of tree pruning are:

  • Crown cleaning – the removal of dead, dying, diseased, crowded, weak, low-vigor branches from a tree’s crown. This standard is one of the most commonly used.
  • Crown thinning – includes all of the above in crown cleaning and in addition the remaining live canopy is selectively thinned out to increase light penetration and air movement. It is also useful for reducing weight on branch ends. Crown thinning should never exceed more than 25% of the live crown being removed. 15-20% is typical.
  • Deadwood pruning – Just as it sounds, the deadwood is properly pruned out of the tree’s entire crown. The three pruning types listed above are required to be denoted with a diameter size. This means that specific attention will be placed on branches of that diameter and larger common examples are 1/4"-, 1/2"-, 1"- or 2"-diameter branches and larger.
  • Crown raising – the pruning off of the lower branches to provide clearance. This clearance could be needed for houses, lights, garages, utility lines, vehicle or pedestrian traffic or to clear other plants. Crown raising alone does not address needs that are met in a crown cleaning, crown thinning or deadwood pruning. Crown raising is usually done in conjunction with other pruning.
  • Training pruning – the most underused category of pruning. Training pruning is done with the specific intent to promote the best branch spacing and a single leader which will develop a superior form as the tree matures. Future form is the goal. Trees that receive training pruning while young tend to require less pruning as they mature.

Always consider, properly pruned trees look better, are safer, healthier, and increase the value of your property. At Wachtel Tree Science, HEALTHY TREES are what we do.

All tree pruning is not equal. What is needed for one tree may not be appropriate for another. Finding an arborist who knows this is very important. At Wachtel Tree Science, our knowledgeable and experienced Certified Arborists will help you determine what type of pruning is needed for your trees. The standard has been set; don’t play games of chance with untrained tree cutters. CHOOSE THE LEADER—CHOOSE WACHTEL!

© Copyright 2009 – Wachtel Tree Science & Service, Inc.

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