Tree pruning is a common method used to maintain the shape and form of trees. The procedure sometimes involves removing dead, broken, or diseased branches. Other times, it consists of trimming its upper crown to allow more air to circulate and light to penetrate. In other cases, it requires the removal of the lower parts of the canopy to provide vertical clearance. Whatever the purpose is, tree pruning is used to facilitate the healthy growth of trees.
However, we cannot just cut parts of a tree for no reason. We must learn how to cut them correctly with a solid understanding of the tree’s biology. If we cut parts of a tree improperly, we can easily alter its growth, shorten its lifespan, and damage it completely. This is why it is important to learn the different types of tree pruning practices to maximize their benefits for our trees’ overall health.
Common Reasons for Pruning
We prune trees for various reasons, and they all require a certain level of maintenance to ensure they stay healthy throughout their lifespan. These are some of the most practical reasons why tree pruning is necessary:
- To remove broken, diseased, or dead branches
- To improve the tree’s aesthetic
- To promote air circulation
- To let light penetrate the crown
- To reduce the risk of branch failure
- To remove potential hazards to property, wires, and lights
Pruning Techniques and Their Benefits
One specific type of pruning may not be suitable for all types of trees. To maintain a tree’s health in a safe and effective way, here are the different types of pruning practices:
- Cleaning: This is the most basic tree pruning practice, which involves the removal of broken, diseased, or dead branches. We must recognize which branches can be removed or not. Once the right ones are removed, the tree can slowly regain its health.
- Thinning: This consists of removing selected branches to facilitate the movement of air and the penetration of light. This maintains the tree’s shape and reduces its crown’s weight. No more than one-fourth of the tree’s foliage must be removed.
- Raising: This helps remove the lower branches or limbs for vertical clearance. Only parts of the lower canopy are removed and usually with specifications (e.g., eight to ten inches above the ground).
- Reduction: This removes a significant portion of the crown to decrease the tree’s height. This clears areas for properties, electrical wires, and streetlights.
- Restoration: This type of pruning is used specifically for trees that have survived a storm and sustained damage or vandalism. Some branches may be cut into smaller ones to help the tree regain its original form.
Summing It Up
Common reasons for pruning trees include removing broken or unhealthy branches, maintaining their aesthetic, facilitating their growth, and eliminating hazards to property. The different pruning techniques of cleaning, thinning, raising, reduction, and restoration serve various purposes. The main goal, however, is to alter the tree’s crown in ways that promote a healthy growth and ensure clearance and safety around us.