How much of a tree can you prune?

While some plants need a coarser pruning than others, in general, the golden rule is to cut no more than 15 to 20 percent of a tree canopy at the same time. Keep it in mind for next time. If your plant has already been pruned too much, use this step-by-step guide to repair damage. In general, young trees should only have about 25 percent of their foliage pruned each growing season.

If the tree is in the right place, with fertile soil, these vigorously growing trees have enough energy and strength to support this type of canopy pruning.


helps control the maximum size of the tree and trains it to grow strong branches on fruit trees that contain heavy fruits. Trimming the canopy allows light to go down through the crown to the lower extremities. This increases photosynthesis in the lower parts of the tree and encourages fruit trees to produce more.

Chain Drive Extendable Pole Saw Pruner & (7'—16') Travel approximately 18 inches across the bottom of the branch you are removing. This is the perfect place for your first cut. Cut halfway across the branch. Because the goal is not to change the size or shape of the tree, thinning must be constant throughout the tree.

You only need to remove 10 to 20 percent of tree branches from the edge of the canopy. Large trees benefit from removing end parts of branches between 1 and 4 inches in diameter. Small ornamental and fruit trees can be thinned by removing smaller branches between ¼ and ½ inch thick. You need to prune the trees to thin out the crown, so that the tree looks completely unpruned.

The foliage of a tree has the crucial task of using sunlight and the process of photosynthesis to produce the “food” of the tree. As a result, tree care industry standards state that no more than 25 to 30 percent of a tree's foliage should be removed in any given year. When properly pruned, most tree species require this amount of foliage to be removed only every two to four years. Excessive removal of foliage decreases the health of a tree and its ability to produce food, just as an excessive reduction in a person's diet can affect that person's health.

Repeated removal of large amounts of foliage can cause a decrease in the health of the tree or, even worse, the death of a tree. Pruning large tree branches, with diameters greater than 3 or 4 inches, can create wounds too large for the tree to seal. Depending on the crown of the tree and its branch structure, it is better to remove a branch of large diameter by cutting it to the trunk. In this way, the branch collar can seal the wound.

If you haven't pruned your trees in some time, it's tempting to have as much of your tree crown removed as possible at once. If you've ever seen a forsythia that has been cut down or a tree on top, then you know that head cuts generally don't work well. Avoiding pruning mistakes is easy when you know the proper pruning techniques and, more importantly, why you are pruning a tree or shrub. Pruning for plant health focuses on removing dead, dying and diseased branches, branches that rub against each other and any pieces of branch so that the whole tree continues to grow healthily.

As leaves fall from trees each fall, branches that were once covered by a canopy of dense foliage emerge from their hiding place. Some types of trees require special care when pruning to avoid diseases, pests and growth problems, so always research the specific requirements of your tree before pruning them. A pruner evaluates the entire tree before pruning and then prunes as little as possible to achieve its goals. She recommends before you prune the lower branches or any other part of the tree, first get an evaluation from tree pruning professionals or an arborist before you do anything with your trees.

Tree branches are pruned for multiple reasons, all of which result in a better-looking, better-yielding tree. Lion's tail is not a substitute for cleaning or reducing tree crowns, and is never performed by qualified tree trimmers. As trees grow, they require less maintenance and a smaller maintenance budget, if the plantations in the garden under the treetops are modified or adapted to the shadier conditions. Trees that receive the right amount of pruning when young will need less excessive pruning as they grow.

By helping a tree establish a main tree and a dominant leader, you create a strong tree that is ultimately able to withstand winter storms and strong winds. . .