When it comes to tree care, pruning is the most common maintenance practice. Trees that grow in their natural habitat do not require the same level of attention that landscape trees do. Trees in the urban environment and wildland interface areas require a higher level of care to maintain their safety, aesthetics and continued production of environmental benefits. The primary objective of pruning is to improve the health and structural stability of a tree. Regular pruning maintains their health and form as well as their general safety.
ATC will prune your trees with an understanding of how individual species respond to various pruning treatments. Since improper pruning can cause damage that will last for the life of the tree, or shorten its safe useful life span, ATC considers the entire life span of a tree when determining how an individual tree should be pruned.
Sometimes trees growing in commercial zones should be pruned annually to provide adequate visibility of shopping areas and signage. Regular pruning also maintains adequate clearance for sign and storefront visibility, vehicles and pedestrians.
Examples of high maintenance trees:
Fast growing palms that need their dead fronds and fruiting stalks removed to reduce the amount of litter during windstorm events.
Medium maintenance trees typically have a moderate growth rate and should be pruned
every three to five (3 – 5) years. Examples are trees planted along major arterial streets,
highways and bus routes, in the common areas of condominium or town home communities, patio areas of private residences.
Young trees, or newly planted trees should be pruned during the second year after they are pruned to eliminate competing leaders, crossing branches and shorten large low branches. Typically, the canopies of newly planted trees should be cultivated over a period of three to seven (3-7) years.
Time of Year to Prune:
The staff at ATC knows that pruning requirements for individual species vary throughout the year. Recommended pruning treatments are coordinated with seasons, weather events and other conditions to minimize stress to the trees and to prevent them from insect infestations and diseases. Since local weather affects the time when wood boring
beetles or other insects are flying, it is important to avoid pruning pine and eucalyptus during summer when they are most active.
Trees that meet the following criteria should be addressed:
- Hazardous trees should be pruned at any time to mitigate risks.
- Trees with thin bark should not be pruned during the summer.
- If a tree has known root damage or disturbance, pruning may be delayed until the deadwood is apparent within one to three (1-3) years after injury.
- Neglected trees may need specific limbs removed or reduced in length, crown thinning or crown restoration.