Tree Pruning Fact Sheet

An educated and experienced arborist knows that all tree pruning is not equal. The arborist assesses each tree individually and then decides what type of pruning the tree is in need of. Crown cleaning, crown thinning, crown raising, deadwood pruning and training pruning are nationally accepted standards of tree pruning developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The ANSI A300 pruning standards are extensive and involved. They are there to protect the consumer. If these pruning standards are not addressed in the tree pruning proposals or estimates you receive you are not getting a professional job. At Wachtel our educated and experienced Certified Arborists will help you benefit from these standards and assist you in determining what type of pruning your trees will need.

The different classifications of tree pruning are:

Crown cleaning: is the removal of dead, dying, diseased, crowded, weak, low vigor branches and water sprouts from a tree’s crown. This standard is one of the most commonly used.

Crown thinning: includes all of the above in crown cleaning and in addition the remaining live canopy is selectively thinned out to increase light penetration and air movement. It is also useful for reducing weight on branch ends. Crown thinning should never exceed more than 25% of the live crown being removed. 5-20% is typical.

Deadwood pruning: is just as it sounds. The deadwood is properly pruned out of the tree’s entire crown.

The three pruning types listed above must be denoted with a branch diameter size. This meansthat specific attention will be placed on branches of that diameter and larger. Common examples of this are 1/4”,1/2”,1” or 2” diameter branches and larger.

Crown raising: is the pruning off of the lower branches to provide clearance. This clearance could be needed for houses, lights, garages, utility lines, vehicle or pedestrian traffic or to clear other plants. Crown raising alone does not address needs that are met in a crown cleaning, crown thinning or deadwood pruning. Crown raising is usually done in conjunction with other pruning. Crown raising must address what is to be cleared and by what distance. An example of this might be a crown raising to provide 8 feet of clearance over garage roof.

Training pruning: is the most under used category of pruning. Training pruning is done with the specific intent to promote the best branch spacing and a single leader which will develop a superior form as the tree matures. Future form is the goal. Trees that receive training pruning while young tend to require less pruning as they mature. Oftentimes complete training pruning may need to be done in stages.

All tree pruning is not equal. What is needed for one tree may not be appropriate for another.

Finding an arborist who knows this is very important. At Wachtel our knowledgeable and experienced Certified Arborists will help you determine what type of pruning is needed for your trees. The standard has been set; don’t play games of chance with untrained tree cutters. CHOOSE THE LEADER -- CHOOSE WACHTEL

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