Tree pruning is either the most important or the worst thing you can do for your trees
Once a limb or branch is removed it’s impossible to reattach it. The understanding of each species’ branching structure and the consequences of what cuts to make to accomplish the objective is vital to long-term health of the tree. In the last 20-30 years the nursery industry had made available many varieties of trees to our landscape. Many of these varieties have a branching structure that, if not understood can cause the tree to be short lived. One of my favorite quotes is, “Love the trees to death”. We’ve all seen instances where someone with good intentions destroys the silhouette of a perfectly beautiful tree. Our company’s approach is to determine what your objectives are, and work towards the best solution, both for the tree, and you.
The most important reason to prune is to improve the structure of the tree. This is simply allowing the limbs the proper room to attach themselves securely onto the main trunk. If a tree’s overall mature height is approximately 50’ the main limbs should be spaced 2’-6” apart (deciduous varieties), or 5% of the height of the tree.
There are many other reasons to prune, including, but not limited to:
Some people who like plants overplant, which causes the health of the less competitive plants to be compromised. In some yards the overall height and width were not carefully understood, therefore it’s necessary to remove the weaker specimens for the long term health of the others.
If you enjoy fruit trees the focus is to maintain the height to a reachable level and prune to produce a branching structure that will endure the weight of the maturing fruit. Most fruit trees have what are called “spurs” or “fruiting spurs”, which if pruned off can lead to a nice tree with no fruit. There are small but significant differences in pruning one variety verses another variety.
There are many exciting new varieties of fruit being offered by the local nurseries from all over the world. Each one has idiosyncrasies that should be understood by those doing the work on the tree.
Ornamental and hedge pruning is one of our specialties. I have been in the nursery and landscape maintenance business for over four decades and know that each situation can be a challenge if the big picture is not understood. Our company takes the time to discuss the options available, and come up with the best alternative for you.