Written by: RJ Busch, ISA Certified Arborist WI-0985A
Whether you’re training a young tree or managing a mature tree, structural pruning is a crucial practice that can help in sustaining the heath and aesthetics of your tree. This technique involves carefully removing certain branches to optimize the overall structure and growth of the tree. While it may seem counterintuitive to remove branches from a tree, structural pruning offers numerous benefits that far outweigh any initial concerns.
By selectively removing certain branches, pruning encourages the development of a strong and well-balanced tree structure. This is especially critical within the tree’s first fifteen years of life as it helps trees to grow in a way that is natural sustainable, and resistant to damage from strong winds or heavy snow loads. Pruned trees are less likely to develop weak branches or co-dominant stems, which can easily split or break under stress; therefore, protecting both the tree and its surroundings during severe weather.
Trees that are densely packed with branches may prevent sunlight from reaching the inner parts of the canopy. Sunlight penetration promotes photosynthesis, which is crucial for the tree’s growth and overall health.
The pruning cycle should begin three years after planting and should be done at regular intervals. The certified arborists at Wachtel Tree Science will ensure that they fully understand the growth habit of a tree before beginning the pruning process in order to avoid overthinking and over pruning. We strive to remove no more than 25% of the foliage; with a typical pruning being between 10-20%. By removing branches that are dead, diseased, or structurally unsound, the risk of branch failure is significantly decreased. This is especially important in urban areas where falling branches can cause property damage or injury to people. Regular structural pruning helps promote that the tree remains safe and reduces the need for emergency tree removal in the future.
A well-pruned tree not only enhances its health and safety but also adds to the overall beauty and value of the landscape. Every cut has the potential to change the growth of the tree.
Below the article you will notice a QR code. Use your phone to access a video. You will then be able to watch a certified arborist prune an Autumn Blaze Maple. You’ll see firsthand a young tree be structurally pruned for a better and stronger future!
Pruning is both an art and a science, this is why we always say keeping trees healthy and beautiful since 1935. Anytime is a good time to start structurally pruning your tree. The winter season is especially great for pruning. Let the Certified Arborists at Wachtel Tree Science at make your trees have the best structure in town!