We are in full swing with the summer, and those trees and bushes are starting to look a bit overgrown. I thought I would do a short post on how to keep your trees and shrubs looking great and healthy. Check out these tips for what and how to :

Use The ⅓ and ¼ Rules of

  • Never remove more than ¼ of a tree’s crown in a season
  • Ideally, main side branches should be at least ⅓ smaller than the diameter of the trunk.
  • For most deciduous (broadleaf) trees, don’t prune up from the bottom any more than ⅓ of the tree’s total height.
  • Where possible, try to encourage side branches that form angles that are ⅓ off vertical that form “10 o’clock” or “2 o’clock” angles with the trunk.
  • Don’t worry about protecting pruning cuts. For aesthetics, you may feel better painting large wounds but it doesn’t prevent or reduce decay.
  • Keep tools sharp. One-hand pruning shears with curved blades work best on young trees.

For those that want a visual explination, check out this video where he talks about how to prune shrubs:

Finally, there is some confusion over how to prune a tree. Where should you cut the branch, and how? Check out this article that talks about the proper way to prune a tree:


The following tips and techniques will help guide you if you’re planning on pruning a tree or if you just want to educate yourself about typical tree trimming care and maintenance techniques.

Crown Thinning

If you need to thin the crown of a tree, you should keep the following tips and techniques in mind:

  • Keep lateral branches as evenly spaced as possible, especially on young trees.
  • Prune away branches that cross other branches or run against them.
  • Never remove more than one-fourth of a living crown at once. If you need to remove more than that, spread it out over a number of years.
Crown Raising
  • To provide clearance for pedestrians and for other reasons, you can raise the crown by carefully pruning the tree. Maintain live branches on at least two-thirds of a tree’s height. If you remove too many branches near the bottom half, the tree may not be able to develop a strong stem.

I hope this has been a timely post to help you cut back all the growth in your yard. As always, be sure to give us a phone call if you would like a bid for professional pruning in your yard.

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