Pruning is an important step in caring for trees, but it needs to be done correctly. Otherwise, pruning could open up the trees to diseases and pests, which could kill it. For example, tree topping is a practice that we and other professionals no longer use due to the fact that it removes too many of the branches to keep the tree healthy. Instead, here are some tips that we recommend using to protect trees when pruning.


It's best to prune trees in dormant seasons. One of the best times to do this is during the winter, which allows for robust growth in the spring. We recommend waiting until the coldest time of the winter has passed for best results. Summer can also be a beneficial time for pruning, but it's important to wait until the seasonal growth is complete.

Don't prune during the fall. Trees won't have time to heal before the winter, and they can suffer from decay and fungi that could kill them.


Before pruning, we ask clients why they want to do it. If they don't have a reason for pruning, we recommend leaving the tree alone. Some of the reasons that pruning would be a good idea include the need to remove dead branches, improve the tree's form, increase safety, allow more light to penetrate the tree, increase the air circulation through the tree, or reduce the nourishment needs from the roots.

Alternative Techniques

Although topping is no longer recommended, there are other techniques that can be used for pruning. One of the most common alternatives to topping is reduction. Reduction is used to reduce the size of the tree. Leaders and branch terminals are removed toward the top of the tree. Raising requires removing lower branches that are in the way of pathways. Thinning helps increase the structure of the tree while retaining its shape. It also improves light penetration, air circulation, and weight. Cleaning involves removing bad branches from the crown to keep the tree healthy. When completing any of these techniques, it's necessary to angle the cuts down and away from the stem in order to protect the tree.

Branch Size

When pruning, branches should be evenly spaced out. The branches shouldn't be too close together or too long. The diameter of the branch is also important to take into account. Branches that are less than 5 centimeters in diameter are safe to cut. Ones that range between 5 and 10 centimeters are okay to cut, as necessary. Branches that are over 10 centimeters in diameter should not be removed unless there is a really good reason for doing so.

Angle Shape

When pruning where 2 branches meet together, the shape of the angle is also important to take into consideration. Although V-shaped narrow angles are okay to prune, stay away from strong U-shaped angles. Focus on removing branches that cross over or run against other branches.

With the many tips and techniques associated with pruning, such as staying away from tree topping, it's important to have someone prune trees who knows what they're doing. We've been in business for over 25 years and can help you prune your trees and allow them to grow healthy and strong.