Why, When, & How to Prune Your Trees – part 1
Why prune a tree?
- Remove dead, damaged and diseased branches to help prevent insect & decay organisms from entering the tree.
- Thin a dense canopy on a tree to increase air and sunlight, resulting in fewer disease problems.
- Remove suckers & water sprouts to eliminate weak wood and provide more food and water for the tree.
- Eliminate crossing branches to prevent damage caused by their rubbing against each other.
Weak or narrow crotches split apart as the tree grows older. Remove these crotches to eliminate breaking and tearing of wood.
- Remove co-dominant leaders. Co-dominant leaders are 2 branches growing near the top of a tree that grow straight up and become equally dominant. Cutting off one allows the other branch to grow & become the dominant branch. This prevents the branches from splitting and tearing wood that is often a problem in heavy winds.
- Correct pruning procedures create & maintain a strong tree structure, preventing safety hazards such as low growing branches and growth forms subject to storm damage near a sidewalk or driveway.
- Maintain natural tree form
- Often erratic or vigorous branches grow that change the growth habit of other branches, this results in a misshaped tree. Early removal of these vigorous branches maintains a natural tree form.
- Stimulate or restrict growth
- Pruning can stimulate growth in sparse areas of the tree. Pruning can also restrict growth where too much growth is undesirable.