Translate this page

Trimming trees properly preserve beauty, health

Friday, December 27th, 2013
Issue 52, Volume 17.

RIVERSIDE COUNTY – You and your landscape trees have made it through another season – drought, insects, or early leaf drop might have been the battles you had to fight for months ... at least as far as your trees are concerned. You may think that because the now dormant, leafless trees have made it this far into the calendar, you can now breathe easy. Think again! With winter approaching, hazards in trees should be removed now – before they damage property or the tree.

Winter is a great time to examine the stability and health of your trees, say tree care experts. Why? With the leaves off, cracks, defects and deadwood are easier to see.

"Most trees can be pruned year-round, if pruned properly," says Tchukki Andersen, BCMA, CTSP* and staff arborist for the Tree Care Industry Association. "And certain operations are easier to do in the winter if the tree is not actively growing."

Some homeowners worry that arborists will not be able to determine deadwood on a tree when the leaves are off. "On the contrary," says Andersen. "This is the best time for an arborist to locate deadwood by looking for changes in branch color, fungus growth, cracks, and other symptoms that can help them make this determination. Since the leaves are off, the view of the entire tree’s architecture is clear and a thorough check can be performed."

Pruning is much more than the simple act of sawing off limbs. Proper pruning is Advertisement
Advertisement for Casa Tiene Vista
[ Casa Tiene Vista ]
an art based on scientific principles of plant physiology. At its most basic level, pruning trees involves removing damaged, dead or structurally weak limbs, which will improve a tree’s health and reduce the chances of personal or property damage caused by falling limbs. More advanced pruning methods aid in improving the tree’s structure and long-term health.

Proper pruning encourages growth, increases flower and fruit production, improves plant health, and removes damaged limbs, all which give aesthetic appeal to a tree. Pruning at the right time and in the right way is critical, since it is possible to kill a tree through neglect or over-pruning.

Well-trained arborists should prune according to the American National Standards Institute standard for tree pruning, which is called ANSI A300. Proper work estimates should be issued within ANSI A300 standards.

Arborists adhering to ANSI A300 pruning standards will:

*not leave branch stubs

*make few or no heading cuts

*not cut off the branch collar (not make a flush cut)

*not top or lion’s tail trees (stripping a branch from the inside leaving foliage just at the ends)

*not remove more than 25 percent of the foliage of a single branch

*not remove more than 25 percent of the total tree foliage in a single year

*not damage other parts of the tree during pruning

*not use wound paint

*not prune without a good reason

*not climb the tree with climbing spikes

For help in locating a professional arborist, do a zip code search at or call toll-free (800) 733-2622.



arrow Be the first to share your opinion on this article!

Add your Comment


Images, Formatting, or HTML is not allowed : plain text only. You may post up to 5 website addresses within your comment.


The Valley News has tightened its' policy regarding comments.
While we invite you to contribute your opinions and thoughts, we request that you refrain from using vulgar or obscene words and post only comments that directly pertain to the specific topic of the story or article.
Comments that are derogatory in nature have a high likelihood for editing or non-approval if they carry the possibility of being libelous.
The comment system is not intended as a forum for individuals or groups to air personal grievances against other individuals or groups.
Please, no advertising or trolling.
In posting a comment for consideration, users understand that their posts may be edited as necessary to meet system parameters, or the post may not be approved at all. By submitting a comment, you agree to all the rules and guidelines described here.
Most comments are approved or disregarded within one business day.

RSS FeedFacebookTwitter

Advertisement for Temecula Dining


Most Commented

Reach Local Customers

The Valley News The Valley News
760-723-7319 - 1588 S. Mission Rd. Suite 200, Fallbrook CA 92028
All contents copyright ©2014
About Us
Earthquake Information
Business Listings
Contact Us
Letter to the Editor
Report a website error
Online Digital Edition
RSS Feeds