Why Prune Your Trees?

Pruning is much more than the simple act of sawing off limbs and should be a regular part of all tree and shrub maintenance programs.

Proper pruning encourages strong growth, increases flower and fruit production, improves plant health, and removes damaged limbs, all which give aesthetic appeal to a tree. Pruning at the right time and in the right way is critical, since it is possible to kill a healthy tree through neglect or over-pruning. Essentially, pruning should enhance the trees natural shape.

Here are a few main reasons to prune your trees:

  • Reduce risk of failure from dead or weak branches
  • Provide clearance
  • Reduce shade and wind resistance
  • Manage tree health
  • Manage flower or fruit production
  • Improve aesthetics
  • Improve tree structure
  • Save a storm-damaged tree


Pruning Dos and Don’ts


  • Remember that poor pruning can cause damage that lasts for the life of the tree.
  • Assess your trees after a storm to see if there is pruning needed.


  • Prune without a good reason
  • Remove any more than 25 percent of foliage during a growing season.
  • Prune a newly planted tree for the first year, unless you are removing dead or broken branches.
  • Prune within 10 feet of a utility conductor – leave it to the pros.
  • Try to tackle a pruning job that requires a chain saw and ladder work – leave it to the pros.
  • Leave branch stubs, or cut off the branch collar (not make a flush cut).
  • Climb the tree with climbing spikes
  • Use wound paint
  • Strip out inner foliage and branches (also called lion-tailing)