Expert Tips
February 8, 2021

What Is Tree Pruning and Why Do You Need It?

What Is Tree Pruning and Why Do You Need It?

Having trees in your yard is a blessing. Millions of people who live in apartments or large cities don't have the benefits of trees outside their window.

Not only are trees essential for a healthy planet, but they also provide many benefits to us, whether we realize it or not. In order for us to experience many of these benefits, though, we need to take care of our trees.

One of the main ways we do this is by pruning. What is tree pruning, and how does it make trees healthier for all of us to enjoy? Keep reading to find out.

Benefits of Healthy, Beautiful Trees

Tree trimming, or pruning, helps make our trees healthier and safer. When our trees are healthier, they provide more benefits to the environment and to us.

What are some of the benefits trees provide?

For starters, trees block the sun. Trees shade our homes, keeping them cooler. This keeps us from wasting energy and money having to cool down our homes with the AC.

The shade also protects our skin from the sun's ultraviolet rays. This is especially important for young children who have more delicate skin. Sunlight can cause damage in as little as 10 or 20 minutes.

Trees also help us heal. Studies have shown that patients who can see trees out of their hospital windows recover faster than those who can't see trees.

On top of that, large, healthy trees in our yards and on our streets can help boost the property value of our homes. But in order for us to experience these benefits, tree maintenance is important to keep trees healthy and to keep yards safe.

What Is Tree Pruning?

Tree care starts with pruning. Tree pruning is the act of selectively removing branches from a tree.

Sometimes these branches are dead, which are likely to fall at some point. Other times branches are removed to encourage new, stronger growth in certain areas of the tree.

Branches can also be removed purely for aesthetic reasons. Or if a tree has branches too close to a structure, hanging over a fence, or otherwise in the way, they can also be pruned.

While a homeowner can often take care of smaller branches on their own, proper tree pruning services should be left to professionals.

Arborists study trees on a daily basis and can tell you things about your branches that you would never realize. Plus, there is much more than simply sawing off a branch, hoping it falls to the right spot.

Pruning a tree can be dangerous without the proper equipment and knowledge of how to effectively and safely remove branches from a tree.

Why Do Trees Need to Be Pruned?

There are many reasons trees need to be pruned. If you are considering having your trees trimmed, here's what you need to know.

New Growth

When you trim branches from a tree, you are signaling to the tree that it can continue to grow. They will start producing new, healthy growth which can include new branches, flowers, and fruit.

Guide the Tree

A tree that has never been pruned is likely to develop abnormal growth patterns and structures. This can cause weird-shaped trunks or branches.

With regular pruning, you can help guide the tree to grow a uniform, balanced tree structure that is much safer and stronger. This can keep the weight balanced across the tree preventing a collapse or split later on.


Dead or weak branches, especially large ones, can cause a safety hazard. It's very common for storms and high winds to shake weak branches from trees.

When the branches are hanging over a house, a car, or anything else of value, it can cause a lot of damage. You can prevent heartache and potentially even injury by managing your trees.

Better Looking Yards

A properly pruned tree will also look better. You can improve the appearance of your yard by removing dead branches and giving your trees a healthier, more uniform look.

This will put a smile on your face when you spend time in the yard, and will also increase curb appeal when you are ready to sell your home.

Tree Pruning Tips

Again, there is much more to pruning than simply cutting out branches. Without a strategy, you can kill your tree by randomly cutting out branches.

Less Is More

The biggest risk you run by pruning your own trees is by removing too many branches. The goal should always be to remove the smallest amount possible in order to achieve your goal.

You don't want to cause the tree unnecessary stress. Yes, trees are alive and experience stress as we do. Pruning too many branches in a short period of time can cause your tree to die.

Pruning Should Be Seasonal

If the goal of trimming a tree is to make it stronger and healthier, then pruning should be done when the tree is dormant. Trees are dormant in the late fall and winter when they've shed their leaves and activity has come to a halt.

A tree at this time will lose less sap. There is a smaller chance of the tree being affected by fungus, insects, or disease as well.

It's also an easier cleanup process since you won't have to deal with branches filled with leaves. Only emergency branch removal should be done outside of the dormant season.

Tree Pruning Methods

Depending on your goal, a different pruning method may be used. Some pruning focuses on removing density, freeing up space in the canopy, and letting additional sunlight pass-through.

Tree health pruning is the removal of dead or dying branches, giving the tree more energy to produce new growth. Subordination is the process of guiding a tree's growth structure and planning for a long-term, strong, healthy tree.

Size and branch management is the process of trimming back branches to protect homes, buildings, roadways, and powerlines.

Hiring a Qualified Arborist

So what is tree pruning? It's the art and science of maintaining healthy trees. And it's best left to knowledgeable arborists who can safely and effectively prune trees.

Pruning your own trees is risky. You risk damaging or even killing the tree if done incorrectly. You also risk safety, as you are elevated, carrying sharp tools, and removing heavy branches.

Instead, you can contact us today for a free quote so you can have a safe, better-looking yard in no time.

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