Frontier Tree Service takes care of a vast array of tree issues all around Vancouver and the Portland Metro Area. We deal with dead and diseased trees as well as trees that come down in storms. But a lot of our work consists in the routine maintenance of keeping healthy trees well… healthy! We prune many different types of trees including most common deciduous and conifers as well as fruit trees and shrubs. We prune for the health of the tree as well as the specifications of the client, whether that is to keep the tree small or to give it an attractive shape. All proper pruning helps to increase the lifespan and health of a tree or shrub. We wanted to share with you a few common techniques we use when pruning.
Young trees need to be pruned more vigorously than older trees because the tree’s shape will be determined in the first few years. Older, taller trees need to be pruned to maintain health but also safety, as they start to hover over power lines and houses.
Thinning: This is the technique we use most often in order to maintain good tree shape. When we thin trees or shrubs, we remove entire branches where they join at the stem (just above the branch collar). This improves circulation while allowing wind to safely blow through the tree. Thinning provides a good opportunity to remove diseased or weak branches or branches that have grown at strange or unattractive angles.
Heading: This useful technique promotes new growth in trees and shrubs by cutting back side branches. When heading, we cut a branch back to where the bud has formed or to the tip of a side branch. This stimulates the tree to put on healthy, new growth.
Renewal Pruning: This is most often used for shrubs. It is a dramatic technique that cuts most of the branches of a shrub back practically to the soil line, allowing them to regenerate completely the following year. This stimulates new growth and cuts back thick, woody stems, allowing for new ones to grow in their place. This technique works best on lilacs, viburnums, dogwoods and similar shrubs.
Each type of tree and shrub are pruned in their proper season. Broadleaf evergreens (like rhododendrons) are pruned in early summer, after blooming. Fruit trees are pruned in mid-winter, before they set buds for the coming season. Pruning to control size is often done after the spring flush of growth while pruning to encourage growth is usually done when a tree is dormant. Get to know your trees and shrubs and find out what kind of pruning they need and when is the best time to do it.
Contact Frontier Tree Service with your pruning concerns. We can help you get started on taking care of your trees and shrubs. Do you have a specific question about your trees and shrubs? You can contact us here or leave your question in the comments below.