Proper pruning is one of the most important practices for tree preservation. It is always good to look over your trees and shrubs and look for obvious problems like dead or hanging branches, broken cables or other safety issues. However, structural pruning and corrective pruning are required to improve the life of your trees.
Trees of all species, sizes and ages can greatly benefit from professional pruning. However, providing structural pruning, particularly during the early development stages, can be the key to avoiding structure problems in the years to come. Structural pruning is pruning with a focus on creating a healthy and supportive trunk and branch structure. With structural pruning, a tree is encouraged to grow a strong dominate leader and balanced branch structure by removal and pruning of competing stems and branches. Although mostly beneficial for young trees, structural pruning can improve the health and safety of older trees as well.
Corrective pruning is the selective removal of crossing and rubbing branches to improve the health of a tree. Crossing and rubbing branches can lead to branch decay and allow entry ways for pathogens and insects. Corrective pruning can also include thinning. Thinning allows light penetration and air flow within the tree’s canopy. Improved air circulation helps reduce fungal diseases and insect infestations. Thinning also allows the tree to retain its natural shape and lightens the weight and wind load of the branches.
Even if you missed the chance for structural pruning during the formative years and haven’t followed through with corrective pruning from year to year, there are still ways to keep your trees looking great and maintain their safety. Proper pruning will enhance the health and life of the tree, boost your property values, and save you from possible tree care concerns in the future.