REASONS TO PRUNE



Be Kind to Your Trees!
Pruning should be a regular part of all tree and shrub maintenance programs. Proper pruning involves the selective removal of plant parts to train young plants; rejuvenate older plants; improve plant appearance, structure and health; control size; create special forms; prevent personal injury and property damage; and influence flowering and fruiting. Make sure Bair's is regularly involved in your pruning needs. Do not try and do this yourself! Call the certified arborist experts!

    Stop circling and girdling roots. Growing plants in containers, or planting them in compacted soils or restrictive sites, may cause roots to circle. As circling roots enlarge they may girdle (choke) the plants, or fail to adequately anchor them. Prune circling roots at planting or when they develop in the landscape (unless removal creates large wounds).
    Remove watersprouts and suckers. Improper pruning and damage may cause plants to produce watersprouts (in the crow) and suckers (from the base or roots). Prune watersprouts and suckers when they appear before their vigorous growth weakens the plants. To "uptop" improperly pruned (topped) trees, remove selected watersprouts to re-establish a better branch structure.
    Remove condominant leaders and weakly-attached branches. Damage, improper pruning, or opposite bud arrangement may caus trees to pruduce codominant (two equal) stems and weakly-attached branches. Prune codominant leaders and weakly-attached branches when young to prevent wounds from breakage. In addition, remove rubbing and crossing branches.
    Remove damaged branches. Sorms, equipment, people, animls and other pests may damage plant branches. Damaged branches diminish appearance, create hazards, and are sites for insect and disease development. Prune when damage occurs.
    Creat special effects. Plants can be pruned to creat special aesthetic, architectural and environmental forms. Special forms include bonsai (dwarfing), topiaries (three dimensional forms) and espaliers (two dimensional forms). Pollards are plants pruned at the same place each year to restrict plant size.
    Open and rejuvenate older plants. Excessive internal growth often restricts air circulation through older plants, often increasing pest problems and reducing light penetration. Selectively prune to reduce wind resistance, increase air circulation, reduce pest problems and increase light penetration.
    Control size and growth direction. Proper heading (pruning to a bud or side branch) and thinning (pruning entire branches) can control plant size and branch growth directions. Prune to buds or at branch collars, not mid-branch (topping).
    Remove potential hazards. Prune branches that interfere with or threaten people and property before problems occur. Monitor plants for potential hazard development.
    'Reasons to Prune' Courtesy of VA Department of Forestry



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