Proper Tree & Shrub Pruning

Hometown Tree Care uses pruning methods such as Drop Crotch Pruning, Cosmetic, and Hygienic to improve the natural shape of the trees. Dead, diseased, and broken wood can be removed at any time of year. However, for general pruning, the best time is in late winter or early spring just before growth begins. Because each cut has the potential to change the growth of (or cause damage to) a tree, no branch should be removed without a reason. Removing leaves reduces photosynthesis and may reduce overall growth. Understanding how a particular tree responds to pruning is essential when selecting branches for removal.

Tree Pruning of mature trees may require special equipment, training, and experience. If the tree pruning work requires climbing, the use of a chain or hand saw, or the removal of large limbs, then using safety equipment, such as a climbing saddle, lanyard and ropes is a must. Our climbing certified arborists can provide a variety of services to assist in performing the job safely and reducing risk of personal injury and damage to your property.
They also are able to determine which type of tree pruning is necessary to maintain or improve the health, appearance, and safety of your trees.



Most pruning to properly remove dead, weak, or diseased tree limbs can be done any time throughout the year without harming your tree. As a rule of thumb, it is always best to prune prior to the spring growth in order to allow the fastest recovery of the open cuts or wounds created by the pruning process.


Pruning cuts should be made just outside the branch collar. The branch collar contains trunk or parent branch tissue and should not be cut, damaged or removed. If the trunk collar has grown out on a dead limb to be removed (see illustration below), make the cut just beyond the collar.
Do not cut the collar!

If a large limb is to be removed, you must first lighten the load a bit to make it easier to work with. In order to accomplish this safely, you start by making an undercut about 12 to 18 inches from the limb’s point of attachment. Make a second cut from the top, directly above or a few inches farther out on the limb. By doing this correctly you safely remove the limb, leaving the 12- to 18-inch stub sticking out, which is much easier to work with. Remove the stub by cutting back to the branch collar. Remember not to damage or cut the branch collar! This technique reduces the possibility of tearing the bark. See illustration below.