Proper Pruning Gets Best Summertime Results

February 13th 2012
Proper Pruning Gets Best Summertime Results

With the days getting noticeably longer many people have a greater desire to get out and work in their yards to prepare for spring. If you have been curious about the proper timing of pruning your trees or shrubs, the dormancy plants undergo in winter makes this time of year an opportune time to carry out such activities.

Although pruning can be carried out at all times of the year it is best done before spring advances when trees are dormant, without leaves and sap is not flowing. Pruning can provide the following benefits:

- Achieve increased flower and fruit production in fruit trees & flowering shrubs;
- Maintain good health and form by removing dead, diseased, damaged or crossing limbs in all trees, shrubs & hedges;
- Eliminate hazards and improve structure through abatement, restructuring or structural pruning in both mature & young trees.

Whether you plan to do this yourself or hire an arborist there are a few points you should consider:

- Do you know the type of pruning you plan to carry out and the results that it will create in that tree?
- Properly pruned and cared for trees will be more attractive, healthier and less susceptible to storm damage in addition to adding more value to your property.
- Improper pruning can permanently damage a tree from which it may never fully recover. Topping or heading cuts are examples of these where the top of the tree or the tips of the branches are removed only to create more unwanted or hazardous growth.
- Be informed and read up on ISA's guidelines for tree care and pruning by going to
- If you have any hesitation in doing the work yourself call a professional for a quote or consultation. Certified arborists are trained in many aspects of tree care and their priority is to maintain safe & healthy trees.

Use care when selecting a tree service and ask the following questions:

- Are they an ISA (International Society of Arboriculture) certified arborist?
- What standards are they performing their work to?
- Do they have references and addresses of recent (similar) work to view?
- Do they have specific liability insurance to cover the work they plan to do?
- Is their WorkSafe BC (WCB) in good standing?

To ensure the health of our street trees, many municipalities require that trees are pruned in accordance with the International Society of Arboriculture Best Practises and Standards. Make sure to check with your municipality before you attempt to prune any street trees.

We have professional arborists listed on Shell Busey's Home Service Referral Network.