Canopy reduction is the process of removing the end of branches at the top or sides of trees.
The main reasons for pruning your tree canopy are:
1. Provide clearance from a structure
2. Reduce the risk of tree failure
3. Overall size reduction
Trees often grow into wires, over buildings and into other trees. Overly large trees may become safety threats and aesthetically undesirable. Overgrown trees may become hazardous due to their size. Especially in storms, failure of dropping branches or the tree itself falling over may occur.
Reduction pruning removes stems and branches from the ends of trees to reduce the size of trees.
Reduction pruning is not a substitute for careful planning of tree placement. Trees that grow to large sizes, should not be planted in small places or where they would grow into structures and other trees.
Depending on the species, branches and leaves may grow back quickly from reduction pruning. To manage a trees height and spread with canopy reduction, trees may need to be regularly pruned for the health and life of the trees.
Hurricanes and storms often damage trees on a property, breaking off limbs and even overturning trees.
Canopy reduction may be able to preserve these trees. Pruning the canopy may make the trees less susceptible to storm damage. Already damaged trees may be saved by pruning.
Once a tree has grown to a large size, reduction pruning may require removing branches with large diameters. This can wound trees, making the trees at risk for cracks and decay. Undesired new development can also sprout out of the cut branches.
You should try to reduce tree size while you can maintain the form of the tree and minimize regrowth, before the tree becomes too large for the area in which the tree is growing.
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Note: ISA is the International Society of Consulting Arboriculture. ASCA is the American Society of Consulting Arborist.