Proper Tree Pruning

Proper tree pruning encourages growth, strong tree structure, and improves the aesthetic appeal of a tree. Pruning at the right time and in the right way is critical since it is possible to kill or damage a tree by over-pruning. The best way to assure proper tree service is to hire a tree service company with International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborists on staff. Credentialed ISA Arborists exhibit demonstrable knowledge and skills for the proper care of trees. ISA Credential holders continue their education to advance the tree service capabilities of their companies and themselves. Ross Tree Company is proud of its two full-time ISA Certified Arborists on staff. The Tree Care Industry Association developed an American National Standard Institute (ANSI) standards for tree pruning. Rather than merely sawing off limbs, proper pruning is a mix of art and plant physiology. Below see specifications of the ANSI Tree Pruning Standard.

  • Mitigate Risk – Basic tree trimming reduces the chances of damage caused by falling limbs.
  • Manage Health – More advanced pruning improves tree structure and promotes healthy growth by removing dead or dying branches, diseased or infested branches, rubbing, weakened, or broken branches.
  • Improve Tree Structure – Pruning to a dominant leader mimics how trees grow in the forest – straight and strong.
  • Restoration Pruning – Restoration pruning redevelops tree structure and form after damage from storms or past substandard pruning.
  • Provide Clearance – Prune to prevent interference with property structures, sidewalks, street traffic, desired views, and other plants on a site. Clearance trimming also ensures safe utility clearance and meets city regulations.
  • Manage Size and Shape – Prune to reduce the size or maintain the desired shape according to tree species and location.
  • Regenerative Pruning – Regenerative pruning mimics the natural process of retrenchment by removing dead or weak branches, which reduces the risk of plant failure and stimulates new growth. The goal is to restore tree vitality and appearance.
  • Improve Aesthetics – Prune to improve the visual appearance of trees in an existing yard or landscape.
  • Manage Production – Trim trees to optimize the production of fruit, flowers, and timber.
  • Manage Wildlife Habitat – Pruning to improve wildlife habitats across a property, park, or right-of-way.

Working around large trees is hazardous. To reduce risk to its ground crews, climbers, and vehicles, Ross Tree Company embraces and follows the Arboricultural operations safety requirements as defined in ANSI Z133.

tree care myths

Tree Care Myths

Homeowners love their trees and enjoy their shade and ambiance, but most cannot identify the Maples, Oaks, Elms, Catalpa, or Lindens in their yards. Much of what property owners hear about tree care is incorrect. These myths are harmful to trees.

Myth #1: Use Concrete To Fill Cavities or Tar Paint Cuts Help Trees Heal

This practice was common when I was growing up. However, it is best to let the tree heal itself. Much like on humans, tree wounds need air to mend. Sealing them leads to wood decay.

Myth #2: Pruning Trees Invigorates Them

Certified arborists prune trees based on the individual needs of each tree. Some trees need a slight trim to mitigate risk and to improve tree structure. These techniques maximize the benefits of pruning while minimizing their harmful effects. Some tree companies trim aggressively because of a lack of training or hurrying to the next job. Severe pruning causes the trees to produce dense, vigorous growth. Dense growth reduces the tree’s capacity to photosynthesize, reducing the tree’s ability to grow and keep healthy. Fragile trees like Eastern Rosebuds sometimes cannot overcome the stress of aggressive trimming and die.

Myth #3: Topping Is Great For Trees

Topping a tree is a mistake with long-lasting consequences, which are:

  • Topped trees need more service. Once cut, the tree responds by growing dense branches with heavy foliage. The branches need periodic thinning to improve the structure and eliminate any hazardous hanging branches.
  • The topping cuts are usually horizontal, which promotes decay.
  • The dense growth lessens the ability of the tree to produce energy from the sun, which reduces vigor and the ability to fight off insects and disease.
Myth #4: Prune Branches Close Helps Trees Heal Faster

Each branch base has a collar next to the trunk or parent limb. Collar tissue activates the growth of wound-wood that grows over the cut. So it is best to leave the collar when pruning.

Myth #5: Tree Cabling and Bracing Makes a Hazardous Limb or Tree Safe

Tree cabling and bracing do increase tree structural integrity, but they do not permanently remedy structural weaknesses or guarantee against failure. All cable and brace hardware needs to be safety inspected each year to avoid property damage from dropping branches or falling trees.

Hiring a certified arborist gives homeowners peace of mind knowing the company they hire prunes and trims their trees following generally accepted tree industry standards, not myths. An ISA Certified Arborist adhering to the ANSI A300 pruning standard will not:

  • Leave branch stubs
  • Make unnecessary heading cuts
  • Cut off the branch collar
  • Stripping a branch from the inside leaving foliage just at the ends
  • Remove more than 25 percent of the foliage of a single branch
  • Remove more than 25 percent of the total tree foliage in a single year
  • Damage other parts of the tree during pruning
  • Use wound paint
  • Prune without a good reason
  • Climb the tree with climbing spikes

ross tree trimming in tight places

Tree Pruning in Tight Spaces

Ross Tree Company is known across Denver for pruning trees in tight spaces. It takes specialized skills and equipment to complete difficult tree service jobs near a home, garage, and fence structures. If the work happens to be near a busy street, then a permit is required for a full or partial street closing. For over 30 years, Ross Tree is your go-to tree service company for jobs next to busy streets. We take care of the permitting process in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Ross Tree looks for ways to improve efficiency and worker safety, such as the Good Rigging Control System (GRCS). Sailors use self-tailing winches on yachts to maneuver massive boat rigging and sails. The GRCS allows us to reduce the number of men needed for a job, which lowers the cost to the consumer. Once secure, the technician cuts the branch or tree, then we use an innovative speed lining technique to move tree sections over roofs and fences to be shredded and loaded onto trucks.

If you have a pruning question or need a tree trimmed next to a home or a busy street. Call 303-871-9121 or click here to fill out a service request form.