Part of maintaining the health the trees in your yard involves trimming those trees. While forest trees get by with only nature’s pruning, your landscape trees will require a higher level of care to maintain their health, structural integrity, and aesthetics. While pruning is necessary, improper pruning can cause lasting damage so tree trimming and pruning must be done with an understanding of tree biology.
Reasons for Pruning
Each cut has the potential to change the growth of the tree; so no branch should be removed without a reason. Common reasons for pruning are to:
- Remove dead branches
- Improve form
- Reduce risk to property and other trees
- Increase light and air penetration to the inside of the tree’s crown or to the landscape below
Routine thinning does not necessarily improve the health of a tree. Trees produce a dense crown of leaves to create the energy for growth and development. Removal of foliage through pruning can reduce growth and stored energy reserves. Heavy pruning can be a significant health stress for the tree, so make each cut with purpose.
So while there are many reasons to keep your trees intact, there are also outside considerations that may make it necessary to prune your trees. Safety, clearance, and compatibility with other components of a landscape are all major concerns. Proper pruning, with an understanding of tree biology, can maintain good tree health and structure while enhancing the aesthetic and economic values of our landscapes.