Tips for Pruning Trees

Trees have many environmental benefits.
  1. They breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen.
  2. Provide habitat for birds and other wildlife.
  3. Help to reduce ozone levels in urban areas.
  4. Reduce urban runoff and erosion by storing water and breaking the force of rain as it falls.
  5. Absorb sound and reduce noise pollution.
  6. Provide shade to lower heat buildup, especially on ashpalt surrounds.

These benefits are maximized once a tree is mature, which takes a number of years. So how do you maintain your investment in trees to keep them healthy?

One of the best ways to do this is to prune trees regularly. Here are some of the advantages of pruning trees:
  1. Prune trees for health: Pruning trees encourages development of a strong structure and reduces the likelihood of weather damage. Remove dead or dying tree branches injured by disease, insects, animals, storms, or other mechanical damage. Remove branches and branch stubs that rub together. Tip: Avoid topping trees when pruning. Removing large branches leaves stubs that can cause health problems. It also destroys the plant’s natural shape and promotes suckering and development of weak branch structure.

  2. Prune trees for appearance: For most landscapes, a plant’s natural form is best. Avoid pruning or shearing shrubs into tight geometrical shapes that may adversely affect their growth. Change the natural form of a tree or shrub only if it needs to be confined or trained for a specific purpose. Aesthetic tree pruning should be used to:
    - Control the size
    - Keep evergreens well-proportioned
    - Remove unwanted branches that detract from plant appearance.

  3. Prune trees for protection: Prune weak or narrow-angled tree branches that overhang homes, parking areas, sidewalks or anyplace falling limbs could injure people or damage property. Trim branches that may obscure or interfere with street lights, traffic signals, and overhead wires. Important: DO NOT attempt to prune near electrical and utility wires. Contact your utility companies or township maintenance workers to handle it. Tip: For security purposes, prune shrubs or tree branches that obscure the entry to your home.

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