Tree Trimming and Shrub Pruning
Pruning is a practice that is periodically required on all woody landscape plants. Fruit trees, shrubs, young trees, or mature, Bartlett Tree Experts can provide all of your pruning needs. Click on a tab below for more information on each aspect of pruning.
- Mature Pruning
- Young Pruning
- Specialty Pruning
On mature trees, proper pruning is required to remove dead and dying branches to maintain plant health and safety. This is referred to as cleaning. Research has now documented that thinning, the removal of live branches to reduce density, reduces wind resistance and subsequent storm damage.
Thinning should only be done on trees where the crown is "too dense." A Bartlett arborist has training and experience to evaluate this attribute. Thinning should be concentrated on the outer portions of the canopy, leaving as many branches on the interior crown as possible.
In some instances, the crown or single branches require reduction in length. This improves the form and shape of the plant, eliminates interference with objects and structures, and compensates for structural weaknesses.
Lower branches may require pruning for similar reasons. This process, known as raising, can be used to increase the amount of light beneath the crown of a tree.
Bartlett arborists are trained to evaluate the condition of your trees. They can determine the types of trimming service required to balance your goals and those of managing plant health and safety.
The time to prune might be earlier than you think. One type of pruning that is most frequently overlooked by consumers is structural pruning of young trees.
Trees evolved in forests where they tend to grow straight and lose lower branches due to competition for light. When planted in full sun in the landscape, many species tend to develop multiple stems or leaders. These are more prone to failure.
Lower branches tend to grow at the same rate as the terminal leader. This side branching results in weak attachments that also are likely to fail later in the life of the plant. So care for trees when they are young and growing quickly is critical to ensuring a strong framework for future growth. This practice uses pruning cuts to maintain a dominant stem as a point of origin unless multiple stem "clumps" are desired.
Branches are pruned so their size remains proportional to the stem diameter at their point of attachment. As growth continues, some tree branches are removed to ensure adequate spacing between permanent scaffold limbs. The shape of the tree is maintained to provide a natural open grown form typical of the species.
Bartlett arborists can also develop and maintain formal styles including pollarding, espalier, pleaching, and topiary. Fruit tree pruning techniques are becoming increasingly popular as more consumers grow fruit bearing plants in their gardens. Vista pruning is judicious removal of branches to enhance a specific view. This is frequently performed for consumers with homes near mountains or the shore.
People are often surprised to learn that Bartlett specializes in pruning shrubs. But if we can routinely prune 75-foot trees, the Rhododendron in your foundation planting is easy in comparison.
Homeowners and landscape professionals often confuse shearing and pruning: they are very different concepts that produce very different results.
Shearing removes a portion of new growth each time it is performed. It produces an artificial shape rather than the natural form of the plant. Shearing produces a formal appearance with a dense outer shell of foliage with little growth on interior portions of the crown. Because only a portion of the new growth is removed, the plant continues to grow larger each year. Over time, it can out-grow its space.
Pruning removes older growth as well as new shoots. Because cuts are made deeper into the crown, the plant has a "looser" informal and natural appearance that can be maintained according to the plant species or variety. Because pruning removes some older branches, a specific size can be maintained for the space allotted for them.
Shearing is appropriate for formal gardens and for hedges. However for individual plants pruning is the better technique to sustain plant health and appearance over time.
We specialize in a variety of services. Our aim is to deliver the top level of customer service based on your requests.
- When is the best time of the year to prune?
- When is the best time to have my peach tree and cherry tree pruned?
- I have a large Ash tree in the center of my back yard. Since normal leaf growth is largely on outer third of the limbs, would it benefit the tree to shorten some limbs occasionally to encourage more growth closer to the center and reduce weight on the outer limbs? I have seen a larger ash in our neighborhood with so much weight on outer limbs that the tree split.
- We have a Mulberry tree that is overhanging our lane and causing issues to the neighbours. We understand they need careful pruning to avoid damage to the tree. It is about 40-50 years old and roughly three stories tall. We also have an ivy growing and choking the neighbouring lilac that needs removing. Please can you advise as to the best approach and the best time to do the work?
- We have an upright red Japanese Maple, and it has dead branches on it after winter frost damage. How can I promote new shoots from the tree?
- My neighbors want trim a large cherry blossom tree down by a third this summer. Would this possibly kill it if done in hot weather?
- When should Leyland Cyprus trees be trimmed?
- Can you prune evergreens?
- We have a large (18-20' tall, 5' diameter) Beaucarnea recurvata in our backyard. One of the branches is growing downward at about a 45 degree angle and is interfering with our pool deck walkway. It's about 4' long and 3" diameter where it attaches to another main branch that is probably 5" in diameter. We'd like to remove the 3" diameter branch. Is it safe to do so? We don't want to risk any damage to the tree.
- I have two tall palm trees. I believe they are Mexican fan palms. The neighbor is requesting that they be trimmed as they are concerned about possible damage from the falling fronds on their house/windows. I know it is recommended to wait until spring to prune, but with reason, how risky is it to prune during the winter?