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Neighborhood Street Tree Structure Pruning

Structure pruning is an important part of urban forest management because it decreases the risk of limb failure and determines the height of the lowest permanent branch on the tree. It is important to begin to raise the canopy because branches do not move further away from the ground as trees gain height. Removing low branches reduces the chances of the tree obstructing sidewalks and streets.

Branches may also be removed to improve overall tree structure. Establishing a dominant leader will reduce the risk of the top failing by splitting. The tops of trees are much more likely to fail when there are two or more leaders competing with each other.

In most cases one-third of the tree's canopy will be removed during pruning. City Forestry staff members are qualified to correctly structure prune trees. Some trees are harder to prune than others in that when correct pruning is applied, the aesthetics of the tree suffers in the short term. Even though trees may be healthier and stronger after the pruning is complete, they may look a little different for a growing season.

There are times when tree removal is necessary. It is efficient for us to do removals while we are in the area pruning. However, we will not remove trees without making contact with the adjacent resident. If your tree is removed, a replacement tree will be planted at no charge to you. Details of the removal and replacement process will be discussed individually on a case by case basis.

The tree(s) in front of your home will look different after the pruning; examples below to help you visualize.

streettreepre (49K)   streettreepost (47K)

streettreepre1 (48K)   streettreepost1 (54K)