Tree Pruning Service
We are a tree service company and we offer tree pruning services to our residential clients in North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Vancouver, Burnaby, Coquitlam and the Lower mainland area.
Eliminate the threat of human harm or property damage. Increase your property value. Create a visually pleasant environment where you feel good.
What is tree pruning?
It is the process of selectively removing unwanted branches from a tree.
Pruning vs trimming
Before we get into the pruning business, let’s clarify the differences between pruning and trimming.
Many people use them interchangeably but they have distinct goals and processes.
So what is pruning? By definition, pruning looks after the health of the tree focusing on removing dead, diseased and infected branches to ensure that it is protected against infections.
Tree trimming focuses more on shaping the tree to meet certain visual appearances and ensure proper growth of the three.
Pruning is done according to the blooming cycle of the tree. The ideal pruning time is the end of winter and just before the spring growth.
Trimming should be done twice a year and at least once after the flowering season.
What are some of the tree prune benefits?
Pruning a tree improves its structure by establishing one strong dominant tree trunk.
It shapes the tree to the desired look which increases the overall aesthetics of the tree as well as the landscape and whole area.
It increases the safety of people and property by removing dead and dying branches that can fall off.
Pruning helps the tree to reach the full potential of growth, health, vitality and long life.
It decreases the possibility of various tree diseases and insect infections.
It eliminates branches that interfere with lights, overhead wires, road signs & traffic safety and other infrastructure.
Pruning reduces the canopy density, opens up the canopy and allows the tree to intake more resources like air and sunlight.
When it comes to fruit trees, pruning can positively impact the fruiting and flowering and increase the amount of harvest.
How to prune a tree
Good pruning starts with planning. Before you purchase the tree, try to assess the projected mature size and height of the tree to avoid tree interference with other infrastructure.
What species of a tree are you planning to buy? What is the source of the tree? What is the branch structure and spacing of the branches? Will there be enough space for this tree when it matures? Isn’t the space too crowded already?
Pruning young trees
Pruning young trees is essential as it encourages growth and creates a strong structure.
Young trees that are not pruned will require that much more maintenance and pruning in the later stage.
Execute the first standard pruning during the first dormant seasons after the planting.
Focus on removing lower branches to raise the crown and multiple leaders (main branches) if you want to achieve one main trunk.
How to prune tree branches on big and older trees
Make the first cut approximately 20 inches up the branch that you want to remove. Start cutting upwards, approximately to the half of the branch width. Move one inch up on the branch and start cutting downside until you cut off the whole branch.
Now find the branch collar. This is a slightly swollen area of the outer bark where the branch connects to the trunk. Cut just outside of this collar without leaving a stub. Make the final cut at a 45-degree angle to encourage the formation of the tree callus.
Winter tree pruning
The best time to prune trees is between late winter and early spring or basically after the leaves drop and before new flowers appear.
It is not recommended to prune too soon into the fall because a warm fall may cause the tree to start growing again.
Cold weather and tree inactivity make winter an ideal time to prune trees. Low temperatures cause less stress for the trees and increase their ability to heal faster.
Insects and pests that can infect trees with disease and fungus have a low activity during the winter.
The typical pruning cycle is 3-5 years but it all depends on the species, size, age and health of the tree.
The lack of leaves in winter makes it easy to identify branches and limbs requiring removal.
There are some examples of pruning trees in summer that might be actually beneficial.
Pruning and thinning the blooms of fruit trees in the summer can improve the quantity and quality of fruit production.
Some evergreen trees can handle cuts smaller than 1 inch.
Some trees produce a lot of sap when pruned in winter or early spring. Summer pruning is a good way to avoid this.
The best time to prune during the summer is right after the seasonal growth peak.
Do you need to prune some trees?
We create safe and pleasant spaces by caring for trees
Tree pruning methods
Arborists recognize 5 pruning methods. The goal for most of them is to create a tree with good light and air circulation, visual appearance, strength and health.
These are crown thinning, crown raising, crown reduction and crown cleaning and pollarding.
Thinning involves removing specific branches to reduce the density of the tree. This is most commonly performed on matured trees to increase the resource circulation and reduce the pressure from natural elements like snow or wind.
The visual factor is not important. The focus is to thin the tree consistently in the crown. Don’t remove more than 15% of the tree branches from the edge of the crown. Consider removing the end of limbs up to 4 inches in diameter. You can remove smaller limbs up to half an inch in diameter.
This method is mostly used to raise the bottom of the tree for visual purposes. Lower tree branches may obstruct traffic signs or other infrastructure that needs to be visible.
Make sure to remove branches gradually over a longer period of time not to weaken the tree. The goal is to achieve the overall balance of the tree.
Try to balance the crown and the trunk to a 60/40 ratio.
Use this method on older trees to strengthen and encourage new growth. Do smaller cuts, don’t remove too much crown and leave the old branch structure intact.
The goal is to reduce the tree height and spread. This is best done by removing leaders and branch terminals if the secondary branches are large enough (at least one-third diameter of the original terminal branches) to assume the terminal role.
Crown reduction helps to maintain tree form and structural integrity.
The main goal of crown cleaning is to remove dead or dying branches and growth. This should be a regular part of any trimming process to strengthen the growth and health and prevent damage to the tree and infrastructure.
Pollarding involves cutting off all the branches so only the main trunk and secondary branches along it remain.
How often should you prune trees?
The regularity of pruning depends on the age of three and how fast it grows. As I mentioned earlier, start pruning the trees from a young age to avoid pruning and growth complications at the later stage. Older trees will require more resources and time to regenerate and regrow.
Trees that are less than 5 years should be pruned on a yearly basis to achieve good growth and structure.
Mature trees can be pruned every 2-5 years, depending on various factors such as the species, height or your goal with the tree. Make sure not to remove more than 15% of the tree to allow it to fully regrow.
Understanding the growth buds
Before you start any pruning job, try to understand the location of growth buds. Cut just above the buds you want to keep. There are 3 main bud types to consider when pruning.
These are located at the tip of a shoot and cause it to grow longer. Hormones that move downward the shoot support the growth of other buds on that shoot.
These grow along the sides of a shoot and cause new sideways growth.
Lateral buds start growing only after the main shoot is long enough or it’s pruned off.
These buds are hidden under the bark as sort of an emergency replacement. Look for dormant buds and make the cut just above them to repair a damaged plant.
How much does tree pruning cost?
There are a few factors that influence the price.
Are the branches easily accessible? Are there any obstructions that make the access more dangerous or difficult?
It costs more to prune larger and taller trees than smaller ones. Different species of trees require different sorts of maintenance. How much of the tree do you need to prune off?
So how much is pruning?
Light pruning (trees smaller than 8 meters) of less than 5% of the tree canopy may cost anywhere between $300 to $600. The goal is usually to remove the immediate danger to people, property or the tree itself.
Medium prune involves pruning 5-20% of the tree canopy. These tree sizes need a little more maintenance on multiple canopy locations. The price really depends on the specific work that needs to be done. Cutting lower branches accessible from the ground will cost less compared to the need to use a ladder or climb the tree. Removal of multiple branches on a medium-size tree can come between $500 to $1000.
Removal of up to 30% of the tree canopy can come up to $700 to $1700 dollars. The main goal is usually a certain visual goal for the owner’s property and landscape. Specific price depends on the density of the canopy or the height of the tree.
Canopy raising requires cutting the lower tree branches to raise its crown. Since they are easily accessible, it requires the least amount of work and money. Expect to pay anywhere between $200 – $700.
Thinning usually removes 10 – 30% of the tree canopy from multiple locations. That makes this job a little more demanding and you can expect to pay anything between $300 – $600 for smaller trees up to 8 meters. $600 – $1200 for medium size trees and over $1200 for large trees above 15 meters in height.
Canopy reduction requires the arborist to prune all areas of the tree. You can expect the cost to be between $350 – $1500.
Dying or dead branches should be done regularly to avoid human harm or property damage. Cost depends on the size of the branches. Generally, dead branches removal costs around $500 for up to 10 m branches to $1500 for over a 20 meter one.
Whom should I hire to prune my trees?
This depends mostly on the size of the tree. Standard garden care companies can prune smaller size trees.
Arborists are the real professionals, not only to do the job but also to determine the best strategy. They are more expensive but they are experts in their specific field with professional training and tools.
The best time to prune trees is during the dormant season when trees lose all their leaves.
Pruning young trees will require fewer pruning corrections when they grow older.
Pruning during the summer is not recommended. Getting rid of branches with leaves means that the tree is getting fewer resources as it can which can impact the next year’s tree growth.
Cut limbs ¼ inch above a bud facing the outside of the plant to force the new branch in that direction. This will be the direction of the new growth.
Keep your cuts at a 45-degree angle to prevent disease infection and water damage.
Remove the weight of the tree branch before the final cut.
Figure the best final cut for the best callus to grow.
Prune the tree a little each year to create a strong and beautiful tree.
Most pruning is done before the spring growth flush.
Remove branches that rub together.
Keep the appropriate proportions and density.
Remove branches that are growing downward.
Remove limbs that are growing to the size of the main trunk in diameter.
Remove suckers coming up from the roots or lower parts of the trunk.
Remove vertical branches called water sprouts.
Remove larger limbs first and start from the top of the tree.
Perform thinning cuts to remove entire branches at the branch collar.
Decide on how much to prune based on the age of the tree, pruning cycles and pruning objectives.
Best pruning tools
To do a good pruning job, you need a pair of the right tools. What are the most common ones to make this experience easy and enjoyable?
Pruning knives, pruners and shears are best for branches up ¾ inches in diameter.
Pruning loppers are for thicker branches up to an inch and a half.
Hand saw is the basic tool for branches that shears are not capable of cutting. You can use a special tri-cut or razor tooth saw.
Use a pole saw to prune branches with difficult access.
Use a small chainsaw for everything else that you cannot do with shears or hand saws. Remember to always wear protective equipment. Avoid using the saw when you’re on the ladder or above your shoulders.
Don’t risk it
You need to be absolutely sure of what you’re doing. When in doubt, there is no doubt. Hire a tree removal professional.