General Pruning Tips
  • Always make pruning cuts on the outside of the branch collar
  • Do not leave branch stubs, living or dead
  • Use sharp hand tools designed for pruning and wear safety equipment
  • Do not paint wounds with pruning paint. It does not prevent decay and may interfere with wound closure
  • Homeowners should never climb a tree to prune limbs or attempt to prune limbs near overhead powerlines
  • Never remove more than 1/3 of the live crown in a single pruning.
Storm & Hurricane Prep Tips
  • Prune for strength by removing:
    • Co-dominant leaders or multiple trunks to encourage the growth of 1 main trunk
    • Injured, diseased and dead branches
    • Rubbing branches
  • Prune for form by removing:
    • Excess lateral branches to produce a ladder effect at maturity
    • Water sprouts and root suckers
    • Limbs that turn inward, cross or extend
  • Topping a large tree causes excessive sprouting of weakly attached new branches and also increases wind resistance by creating denser branching patterns. Excessive lifting creates a condition where trees become top-heavy. Both of these methods of pruning increase the chances of wind damage in the long run.
Animation on why you need to prune