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Tree Pruning

Let’s start with why you want to or why you feel the need to prune a tree in the first place. The most common reasons typically include aesthetics, structure, and reducing risk. Typically, people prune to improve the appearance of the tree by reducing the length of fast-growing stems or unwanted growth. However, too many times trees are pruned only to maintain a desired shape or size to fit a location in the landscape. This can be the result of poor placement or because the wrong tree was selected for the intended space.

Sometimes pruning is necessary to remove dead or declining branches or those affected by insect damage or disease (Crown Cleaning). This helps defend against the spread of the pest and prevent further damage. Also, pruning can increase the vitality of trees to improve flowering and fruit production if done at the right time of the year taking into consideration the species of tree and when it blooms.

The most important reason to prune is to reduce the risk of tree failure, especially in the crown. This includes removing defective branches on a declining tree or branches damaged by a storm. Risk reduction and the improvement of tree stability are important pruning objectives. Begin this type of pruning when the tree is young and newly established. A larger, mature tree often requires professional arborists to remedy structural concerns and other issues affecting clearance, risk, and safety.
One pruning technique that we strongly discourage is topping. Topping is a form of poor pruning that can ruin the tree’s shape and health with excessive canopy removal and poor cuts. Topping is the unselective removal of branches between internodes and not where branches meet, leaving stubs and wounds which cannot heal properly. This provides the opportunity for disease and decay, creating serious problems for the tree. The tree responds by producing many sprouts that are weak and poorly attached and prone to failure to damage from wind, ice, and snow. Because of this weak attachment, the branches are likely to fail more easily and pose a higher risk of injury or damage around the tree.
Our Pruning Techniques:

Stump Grinding

Crown Tree Arborcare offers three (3) different types of stump grinding service options and will ask our customers as to which they prefer at the time of the estimate.  Before stump grinding activites commence, as required by State Law, Pennsylvania One call shall be contacted to mark-out underground utilities for the safety of our employees, property owner(s), and the general public.  Please note that property owned lines such as lighting, pool connections, invisible fences, sprinkler systems, etc WILL NOT be marked and shall be disclosed by the property owner at the time of the estimate.
  • Grind stump and leave chips/grindings on site
    • This option is the least expensive as there is no cleanup involved. After the stump or stumps are grinded approximately 7-10” below grade, all of the chips are mixed with some soil from the immediate area and left in a pile.  The customer can either leave the chips to decompose where they were left or use them for natural mulch in a planting or gardening bed.
  • Grind stump and haul excess chips away (most common service/option)
    • After the stump or stumps are grinded approximately 7-10” below grade, all of the excess chips that are piled above grade will be removed. With this service option, a mixture of chips and soil from the surrounding area are filled in the hole to grade.  Please note that we typically leave them filled slightly above grade as they will settle over time.
  • Grind stump and restore maintained area
    • This option is the most expensive as it involves full restoration of the impacted area. After the stump or stumps are grinded approximately 7-10” below grade, the bulk of the chips are removed.  With this service option, the hole is then topped off with top soil, seeded, and covered with straw.  Please note that the image below had surface roots across the entire section of front lawn that the property owner requested to grind as well.  Thus the reason for the large area where straw was placed.

Tree Removal

At the end of the day, there aren’t too many property owners that want to have a tree removed.  In addition to their beauty in the landscape, trees are also very beneficial and vital to the community and the environment.  Trees provide food, protection, and homes for many birds and other animals.  One mature tree can release a days’ supply of oxygen for four people, all while absorbing carbon dioxide and other harmful gases such as carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide from our polluted air.  To name a few more qualities…trees contribute in water cycle, climate change, provide us wood, makes the environment cooler, provides shade, etc.

With that all being said, it is also very important to understand when a tree poses a threat and must be removed.  Tree removal is typically the last resort, when no other safe management option, like pruning or disease management, is sufficient.  Dead, dying or otherwise hazardeous trees could lead to thousands of dollars in damage, plus the potential “priceless” cost of personal injury.  Monitor your trees and if you see any of the following symptoms, it may be time to contact your arborist for a professional opinion