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Proper pruning practices Pruning is often something that should be performed by an ISA Certified Arborist. Why? Because it is beneficial to understand tree biology, how a tree heals and how it reacts to wounds. This is to try and ensure future decay is not caused by improper pruning cuts. It is also to understand how a tree reacts to pruning cuts, and how much foliage can or should be removed in any growing season. Furthermore various trees react better to pruning at differing times of years and many are pruned for differing reasons. The types of pruning range from crown thinning, crown raising, crown lowering, crown reduction, deadwood removal, vista pruning and utility pruning. Topping, heading, tipping, hatracking , stubbing , dehorning or rounding over are not proper or acceptable pruning practices and more often than not are fatal to the tree. See our article on Tree topping. It is up to the Arborist to leverage their training, and in working with the customer to determine the proper pruning method to be used. Pruning items to be considered are: • Removal or redirection of dominant stems. • Removal of deadwood or limbs which rub each other • When removing ensure the cut is at a performed at the point where another branch can assume terminal role. • Ensure branch collar is not violated or damaged • Generally speaking do not use chainsaw for pruning cuts or at least not final one • Wound coating material is usually not recommended and has been proven to not provide any benefit • Take care to not perform cuts on limbs or leaders larger than can proper heal – varies according to species and their ability to heal. Some species perform CODIT better than others, and are better able to handle larger cuts with reasonable certainty that they will heal. Having said that, keep cuts as small as possible. • When performing larger cuts, inform customer of risks to tree and reason they are being performed. Sometimes it is necessary to perform larger than recommend cuts to attempt to save the tree, knowing that the cut may not heal properly and the tree may eventually need to be removed. (this is the same as a person performing first aid – it is an attempt to correct another issue and may not work 100% of the time) To properly understand pruning techniques, how trees of various species react and the various types of cuts or pruning techniques and when to use each is a subject far beyond a small article. There are many good books on the subject, however be aware that the knowledge on this subject

has changed quite dramatically over the past 2 to 3 decades, so only books from well respected authors written in recent years should be considered. Call us if you need more information. Simcoe Muskoka Tree Services Inc.

Proper pruning practices.  

While beyond the scope of this article, an introduction to some pruning attempted. A multi-chapter article is being written.

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