When done properly, pruning will produce strong, healthy, and attractive trees.
“However, before pruning a tree, you need to understand why, when, and how to prune,” said Janet Feddes-Calpas, Stop Dutch Elm Disease (STOPDED) co-ordinator.
Rule No. 1 is don’t top a tree.
“Topping is the practice of removing large branches and tops of trees and has become one of the urban forest’s major threats,” she said. “It dramatically shortens the lifespan of trees and creates hazardous trees rather than eliminating them.
“This type of cutting results in unsightly weak regrowth that becomes more vulnerable to insects and disease such as Dutch elm disease. The large open wounds also can attract an invasion of rotting organisms. A topped tree is more likely to break or uproot in a storm than a healthy tree.”
Feddes-Calpas recommends hiring an arborist.
“Arborists should be certified and belong to a professional organization such as the International Society of Arboriculture,” she said. “This will ensure that the person has met specific eligibility requirements.”