On mature trees, pruning is required to remove dead and dying branches to maintain tree health and safety. This type of pruning is referred to as cleaning. Research has now documented that thinning, the removal of live branches to reduce crown density, significantly reduces wind resistance and potential storm damage. Thinning should only be done on trees where the crown is “too dense.”
Crown thinning should be concentrated on the outer portions of the canopy leaving as many branches within the interior crown as possible. In some instances, the crown or individual branches require a reduction in length to improve the form and shape of the tree, eliminate interference with objects and structures, and compensate for structural weaknesses.
Lower branches may require pruning for similar reasons. This process, known as crown raising, can also be used to increase the amount of light for grass and ground covering plants beneath the crown of a tree. We can evaluate the condition of your trees and determine the type(s) of pruning required to balance your goals and those of managing tree health and safety.
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