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The Right Reasons for Tree Pruning by John Wickes

Who doesn't like to sit in the shade of a big old oak tree or lay under the branches of leafy maple? Trees provide us with a beautiful vista, cool shade and the very oxygen we breathe. When the health of our trees decline though, it is more than just an aesthetic nuisance because unhealthy trees, if left untreated, can become hazardous.


In the forest, trees shed their dead or unhealthy branches, but natural tree shedding is dangerous. Pruning is a process of selectively removing dead or unhealthy branches, as well as those that cross or interfere with other branches, wires, structures etc… Pruning should be pro-active and scheduled on a regular basis.

It is Not a Do-It-Yourself Project

Climbing and working in trees requires specialized training and equipment. Arborists are equipped to do this work and can prune trees to preserve the health and beauty of the trees as well as protect your safety.

Pruning for Health

Arborists can identify diseased, dead or dying branches before they even become a hazard. Early pruning can reduce the chance of spreading disease and also can save the life of the pruned tree as well as the trees around it. Additionally, pruning a tree improves its resistance to the devastating effects of wind, snow or ice. Also, if a tree's crown is too thick, arborists can thin it.

Pruning for Beauty

Trees can be beautifully shaped when professionally pruned. Internationally accepted standards of pruning for shape ensure that the tree will retain its natural shape and the tree's health will not be compromised.

Pruning for Safety

Dead, broken, and hanging branches need to be removed before they become a danger to people or damage property. Such hazards must be removed from all trees, especially these overhanging buildings, walkways, driveways and pools.

Wickes/arborists is located in Spring Valley. They can be reached at 354-3400 or 1-800-428-GROW. For more information or to sign up for their Ask the Arborist newsletter, visit

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