A properly pruned tree looks as natural as possible; the tree’s appearance reflects its fundamental form and character.
Tree Pruning priorities
- Maintain the health of the tree
- remove all dead, dying, and diseased limbs
- remove crossovers, which can rub together and damage limbs and harbor disease
- remove hazardous branches before they fall
- correct and repair damage.
- Raise the canopy to increase pedestrian, vehicular or visual zone.
- Rejuvenate the tree by the removal of old wood in such a way that encourages the formation of new wood (remove no more than 1/3 of the wood in one year).
- Improve the aesthetic quality of the tree and, thus, its value.
- Slow the tree’s growth by timely removal of foliage (but best to select the right plant for the site).
- Fruit trees:
- increase fruit production
- develop strong 45-degree angles to support the fruit load
- remove limbs that grow down or straight up
- maintain tree size (5 to 10 feet is ideal size for a home orchard in terms of accessibility)
- maintain fruit spurs.