Pruning

Reasons to Prune Trees

Safety– By removing potentially hazardous branches or trees can make an area safer.  Raising the lower branches of a tree near a stop sign or drive way may improve visibility.

Structural Strength– Thinning a tree canopy can allow for more airflow circulation through the crown of the tree reducing the likelihood of failure during a wind or snow event.  Air circulation in the crown also can help confuse pest that might be looking to make a home in your tree.  Establishing a central leader and good structural branches will set the tree up success for years to come, over the long haul saving you money.

Health-Removing dead or dieing branches can help the tree begin to create callus wood.  The sooner the branch compartmentalizes the less chance of insect and disease entering the tree.

Aesthetics– A properly maintained tree is more likely to survive providing enjoyment for years to come.

 

Pruning  Guidelines

  • Because of the danger and experience required for tree pruning the use of a Certified Arborist is always recommended.
  • Attention is to be given to the eventual symmetrical appearance of the trees.  Appropriate pruning shall be done in order to maintain a tree-like form typical of the species of the tree being pruned.
  • In lifting the bottom branches of trees for clearance, care should be given to the symmetrical appearance of the entire crown.
  • When two branches that are rubbing against each other, one should be removed.
  • Deadwood should be removed.
  • When possible “V” shaped tree branch unions should be pruned out.  “U” shaped branch unions are preferred.
  • All final cuts shall be made sufficiently close to the trunk or parent limb, without cutting into the branch collar or leaving a protruding stub, so that wound closure can readily begin under normal conditions.  Clean cuts shall be made at all times.  All drop crotch pruning cuts will be made back to branches with a minimum of 1/3 the diameter of the parent branch.
  • Under no circumstance shall a tree be topped.  In accordance with Billings municipal code Sec 25-211; no person shall intentionally damage, cut or remove and tree or shrub from public property.

 

Pruning Permit

A tree pruning/removal permit is required in order to prune any city tree including boulevard trees.

 

Resources

Pruning guide from the Arbor Day foundation

Great pruning guide from the State of California

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