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Structural Pruning Young Trees

Structural pruning is a type of pruning typically performed on young to middle-aged trees. The objective is to create a strong and healthy structure so that trees are sturdier under wind and less prone to failures. Structural pruning helps trees live full and useful lives.

Posted by All About Trees on Monday, January 16, 2017

Earlier this week, Noel lead a crew at Drury University and decided to use the job site as a chance to teach us all some tree knowledge and give us a view from the sky! Thank you, Noel!

As you can see in the video above, the crew’s work for the day consisted of hazard pruning some big older trees and structural pruning some younger trees. Jacob, one of our arborists, climbed a Maple tree to reduce co-dominate leads. He also worked out a Willow Oak. The Willow Oak had 3 leads competing for the top. Structural pruning helps eliminate this issue. Noel climbed a Willow Oak as well. He structurally pruned the tree to create one dominant leader. There used to be 6 leads! In order to make the remaining lead boss, Noel reduced the other 5 leads. These co-dominate issues should have been taken care of years ago.  Noel also climbed an old Sweet Gum tree that was encroaching into the Willow Oak. The goal was to make a little more room for the next generation of trees.

There are three basic steps to developing and maintaining a dominant leader. The first step is to identify the stem that will make the best dominant trunk. It should be in the center of the crown, and free of cracks, openings, mechanical damage, large pruning wounds, cankers, or other defects that could compromise its strength. The second step is to identify the stems and branches that are competing with this stem. The last step is to remove competing stems and branches back to the trunk, or subordinate by shortening them with a reduction cut. Be sure to remove branches that are clustered together and growing from the same point on the trunk. Ideally, only one large branch grows from one position on the trunk.

Our arborists have years of experience and can help determine if any of your young trees need structural pruning. Call us at (417)863-6214 for a free estimate!