Reasons to prune a tree

  • Mitigate hazards
  • Remove deadwood, damage, disease
  • Enhance structure
  • Control disease & pests
  • Improve aesthetics

Styles of pruning

  • Crown cleaning– Removal of deadwood, weak branches, damage, disease, and crossing branches
  • Limb removal – Removal of entire live limbs
  • Crown reduction – Crops certain parts or all of the canopy, to reduce weight and dynamic loads
  • Structural – Removal or subordination of any branches that may compromise the trees structure, and is best done when the tree is young.
  • Crown restoration – A structural crown cleaning usually done after severe pruning or storm damage
  • Hedging – Ends of branches are regularly all cut back to a certain point to maintain a certain shape or clearance eventually causing all the foliage to grow densely on the exterior of the tree canopy
  • Rejuvenation – Cutting an old or low vigor hedge or shrub to the ground, to allow new grow to take over.
  • Pollarding – Annually cutting vegetative growth back to the same point on selected structural limbs
  • Manicuring – Meticulous pruning at least once every growing season for 4 or more seasons
  • For picking Fruit – growth is directed into lateral branches that are low enough for easy picking. Most fruit trees require training and regular pruning to maintain their form and good fruit production.


Trees respond differently to pruning during different stages of their growth cycles. Pruning should be avoided when trees are most susceptible to pests or disease, during bud break, and during hot dry periods.