Pruning trees is similar to getting a tattoo. It’s permanent and when done poorly, it may cost a lot of money to fix it or have it removed, you need to know why your doing it in the first place and it is important to make sure the person doing it knows what they are doing.

Pruning methods have come a long way in the last few decades. Many methods, once thought of as standard and still commonly use, have been shown to be harmful to trees, hazardous to people and buildings, and result in increased tree care costs over the life of the tree. Be sure that the person pruning your trees are up to date with modern pruning methods. For more information about checking your contractor is property licenced visit our article Hiring a Tree Contractor and check out the articles from “Topless Trees are Indecent” to get a better understanding of why some pruning methods are not good for your trees.

There are several methods and reasons to pruning trees. The timing and method used should be based on your goals and the tree species.

Reasons to prune trees

The most common tree maintenance is pruning. It is a cost effective method for long term tree care and maintenance. When done properly, pruning is beneficial to the tree and will achieve landscape and tree care goals.

Some of the benefits to pruning are:

  • Maintaining and improve the health of the tree and surrounding landscape
    • Increase/correct structure and strength of the tree
    • Control diseases potential
    • Increase light to landscape and trees
    • Prolong the life of the tree
  • Reduce tree hazard
    • Reduce potential for branch or tree failure
    • Provide clearance
    • Reduce fire hazard
  • Increase or decrease growth rate
  • Reduce tree height
  • Increase property value
  • Improve aesthetics of the tree
  • Increase fruit or flowering

Tree Pruning Methods

Eastern Sierra Tree Service is knowledgeable and experienced in the following modern tree pruning methods:


[learn_more caption=”Crown Cleaning” state=”open”]Crown cleaning is the removal of dead, broken, diseased, infested or structurally weak limbs from a tree. This is the most common pruning method used today. Regular crown cleaning can correct growth problems and remove disease opportunities before they become bigger problems.[/learn_more]

[learn_more caption=”Crown Thinning” state=”open”]In addition to crown cleaning, crown thinning includes the selective removal of branches to improve structure, increase light and air movement to the tree canopy and can be used to reduce wind sail. [/learn_more]

[learn_more caption=”Crown Raising” state=”open”]Crown Raising The removal of lower branches for the purpose of providing clearance, lines of site, and reducing fire hazards. [/learn_more]

[learn_more caption=”Vista Pruning” state=”open”]The removal of selected branches to enhance a specific view or access to reception devices such as satellite or solar panels. Special care is taken to insure that the health and structure of the tree is not compromised.[/learn_more]

[learn_more caption=”Crown Reduction” state=”open”]Crown reduction is the modern technique of reducing the height or spread of a tree through select branch removal and cutting back to lateral limbs. Special care is taken not to remove to much living green and to insure remaining lateral branches are large enough to sustain the remaining limb and prevent advantageous growth. [/learn_more]

[learn_more caption=”Crown Restoration” state=”open”]Crown restoration is usually a multi-year process with the purpose of correcting storm damage, and incorrectly performed pruning job such as topping. Selected weak advantageous week is removed with the goal of developing permanent branches and reform the tree into a more natural stronger form. [/learn_more]

[learn_more caption=”Fuels Reduction (fire prevention)” state=”open”]Fuel reduction is a combination of crown cleaning and crown raising done for the purpose of reducing the risk of fire in wooded landscape. It included raising canopies, removing lower deadwood, clearing chimney stacks along with thinning trees and removing ground fuels. Often referred to as defensible space, both Mono and Inyo Counties have communities in State Responsibility Wild Fire Areas which require this around their homes and wooded lots. Fuels reduction trimming is a method of achieving safety goals, however it results in an aesthetic wooded landscape and reduces disease and pest infestation too.[/learn_more]

[learn_more caption=”Structural Pruning ” state=”open”]Structural pruning is an investment in the future. Usually this is done to young trees but it may also be done to more mature trees with structural problems. Structural pruning is best done over several years and helps young trees to develop good structure, it will increases the life span of the tree, and will save the owner money, as the tree will require less maintenance as it matures.[/learn_more]

[learn_more caption=”Pollarding (special effect) ” state=”open”]Pollarding is a multi-year training technique where a younger tree is headed back to encourage advantageous growth (waterspouts). Each year the new growth is trimmed back, this yearly trimming cause knuckles to form creating a knobby appearance. This is a method of reducing tree height, however is requires yearly maintenance, and not all trees do well with this technique.

This method is often done incorrectly to mature trees as a method of crown reduction, without annual trimming and the development of knuckles, it is basically a topping method. See this article, “Topless Trees are Indecent” from for more information on why topping is not recommend.[/learn_more]

Call the right people.  Eastern Sierra Tree Service has been serving the Eastern Sierra for over 30 years offering professional and qualified tree care.  We stay up to date on the best methods of tree care and provide ISA Best Practices Tree Standards and ANSI a300 standards to our tree care.    Call us at 760 934-6142, or in Bishop 760 873-5014,  for a free estimate at your property.