Tree Pruning

Pruning is the art and science of trimming a tree for form, structure and health.

It takes a steady hand to accomplish all three goals of pruning – expertise and experience are assets. At Chinook Arbor Services, we take pride in our ability to prune your trees expertly. As Certified Arborists, we have the experience and have been formally trained. We follow the ISA Best Management Practices for pruning trees, whether from the ground or climbing in a tree. Trimming a tree shouldn’t be a cavalier exercise, as an improperly pruned tree can result in more harm than benefit. A great source of information on proper tree pruning can be found here.


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Tree Before Pruning

Many trees are pruned to make them look better (aesthetic pruning) as they have outgrown their initial pruning or have never been pruned and have taken on a leggy appearance. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a tree pruned to make it look better as long as the practitioner is capable of pruning for health and structure while enhancing appearance. If you need a hand pruning your trees – give us a call!

The Schubert choke cherry that is the subject of this post didn’t appear to have had any formative structural pruning and only had the lower branches removed for mowing access. As a result, this tree has taken on a leggy growth habit showing pronounced top and bottom growth while being thin in the middle.

Tree After Pruning

The pruning effort for this tree consisted of the following:

  • Crown raising to provide access to the bottom of the tree for yard maintenance
  • Crown thinning to remove the excessive tip growth while allowing more light and air into the crown’s interior. Thinning helps reduce disease load (airflow) while allowing interior branches to receive sufficient sunlight, facilitating healthy interior growth.
  • Crown was pruned for deadwood removal
  • Structural pruning was accomplished by reducing over-extended branches

One Year After Pruning

One year after a significant pruning dose, we can see that the tree has filled in nicely and now has an attractive form, well-spaced/structured branches and acceptable clearance from the ground. This tree will likely need another pruning dose in the short term to help it maintain its form and structure. As this tree ages, it should remain healthy and attractive, requiring far less pruning effort to sustain it.