Each tree has different needs depending on its species profile, location, and history. Various styles of pruning can help with health, safety, and piece of mind.
After a tree has been planted for a least a year, it’s time to start pruning! The goal of pruning young trees is eliminating or reducing structural defects and raising the canopy over time to its final height.
Our goal is to improve the safety and beauty of your tree! When a large tree has branches that die, those branches have the potential to fail during severe wind or unseasonable snow storms. Most trees take several years to shed dead branches so it is better to get them to the ground safely. Trees typically have more dead in the lower parts of the canopy which, depending on the species, can be quite unsightly. Because of this, we are far more thorough when deadwooding the lower canopy to help highlight your tree’s beauty.
Trees in the forest survive just fine without regular pruning so why do we prune them at all? Well, the old adage goes, “If a tree falls in the woods does anyone hear it?” In an urban setting, we do not have the luxury of wondering. Most tree failures can be prevented with proper pruning and inspection. We think in terms of the tree’s lifetime, often removing branches decades before they would cause problems.
Here, we remove either whole branches or parts, raising the canopy for access or so there is appropriate clearance for your roof. Branches close to your roof are fine as long as they are not actively rubbing/touching any part of the structure. We encourage clients not to remove too many branches over their roof because having some lower ones will act as a “catcher’s mitt” and slow down or stop anything that falls from farther up in the canopy.
Sometimes structural defects have grown into a tree’s form before we are called for pruning. This is where cables and braces come in. They give you peace of mind by decreasing the likelihood of failure due to a defect. Bracing involves drilling and inserting metal bolts to add strength. Cabling usually calls for installing a rope cable high in the canopy to prevent large sections of the tree from bending past their failure point. Additionally, if the cable fails to stop the breakage, it is rated for a breaking strength of 10,000 lbs. and will catch or direct the tree away from any targets.
Trees are at their strongest when they are perfectly vertical. As they get closer to parallel with the ground, they are more likely to fail. We identify these “heavy” areas and make reduction cuts to reduce either the weight or length of the branch. Weight reduction is more important on some species and in mature trees.
Pollarding is a method used when the goal is to keep a tree the same height. Once the shape of a pollard has been set, it requires yearly maintenance in which the water sprouts or new growth is removed.