Tree pruning is the science of selecting limbs and branches of the tree to remove in order to promote better health and growth in the coming months. Several types of tree require pruning to maintain their optimal growth and ensure the safety of those around them, like palm trees.
Tree Pruning By Experts Ensures Your Tree Stays Healthy & Productive
While snipping some branches can seem like an easy job, knowing when and where to prune your tree is crucial for it's health and growth. Pruning at the wrong time of year or along the wrong branch can have devastating consequences. From poor growth to an infestation of pests, pruning a tree should be handled with care to avoid common pitfalls.
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Types of Tree Pruning
There are many reasons and types of tree pruning arborists use to ensure the health of a tree.
- Reducing density is mainly focused around the top of a tree. By pruning a tree near it’s crown, the tree is able to stimulate interior growth and foliage.
- Cleaning is similar to reducing density, as it mainly occurs at the canopy level, but this technique focuses on dead, dying, diseased, and problem branches that have either low-yield or a weak attachment to the tree. Cleaning tree pruning is always a good option for maintaining the best tree health.
- Raising is a tree pruning technique that increases the clearance of a tree by removing some of it’s lower branches. This type of pruning or trimming is good for pedestrians, vehicles, and other landscaping needs.
- Reduction is a tricky type of pruning typically used to ensure the tree does not impede power lines or threaten property. Reduction pruning is used to change the size of the tree. To successfully not introduce disease or poor health to the tree, arborists select leaders and branch terminals to reduce the shape and size of the tree as appropriate.
When to Prune Trees
There are many variables around when is the best time to prune a tree. For one, it matters what species of tree it is. Fruit trees should be pruned in the winter and never in the spring. Palm trees can be pruned at any time and should be pruned twice a year. The best time of year to prune a tree is when that tree is dormant. If you aren't sure when your tree is dormant, we'd be happy to assist with a custom quote and service plan.
Palm Tree Pruning
Palm trees are a popular tree species in Houston, and they have their own pruning needs.
- Only remove dead fronds. It’s important to rarely remove a green frond from a palm tree; there are only a few instances where this is good for the palm tree. While it’s common to assume that trimming the palm tree back further will ensure less palms are shed during a storm, green palm fronds rarely shed from a tree, even in hurricanes, and cutting a green palm frond allows pests and disease to infest the tree.
- Carefully remove fruit. It’s important to not cut the petiole, which is attached to the stem. By cutting the petiole, palm trees can be infested much easier by disease and pests.
- Never use climbing spurs to scale a palm tree. Unlike other trees which can recover from small wounds to the trunk, a palm tree does not recover and the hole left from a climbing spur, and disease can easily inhabit the holes left behind.
Pruning Different Tree Types
Pruning Young Trees
While often overlooked, pruning a young tree can be a great help to ensuring it grows tall and strong. A young tree can be pruned to ensure that limbs are attached well and foliage is healthy and encouraged at the top of the tree.
Pruning Mature Trees
Mature trees can be tricky to prune correctly. With so many species, such as oak and palm, having very different pruning needs, chances are high that disease could be introduced from a bad pruning job. Mature trees can benefit from a pruning service performed expertly, though.
Specialty Tree Pruning
Some pruning styles create great effects. Pollarding, espalier, pleaching, and topiary are all specialty tree pruning services we provide. Fruit trees also have a great variety of pruning needs, and we can create a custom plan to ensure your garden stays fruitful and healthy over the years.
Common Tree Pruning Questions
The terms are commonly used interchangeably, but tree pruning refers to cutting back the growth of a tree with the intent of improving the health and production of the tree in the future. A tree can be trimmed or cut for many reasons, from power lines to disease, but pruning is the science of selecting the limbs of a tree that should be removed to improve it’s health.
It varies on the type of tree and the age of the tree. Typically, a tree should only be pruned when it is dormant, but some trees, like palm trees, can be pruned at any time. You want to wait until a tree is dormant so that it’s growth is not inhibited and there’s less risk of disease or pests being introduced to the tree from the pruning process.
Have a plan to prune your tree. Start by selecting which branches need to be removed, then ensure that you can safely reach those branches and have a secure place to rest in the tree before cutting.