Can a tree die from pruning?

The simple answer to the question “can a tree die from pruning?” is: yes. When tree pruning is done wrong, at the wrong time and cut in all the wrong places, then the tree could die. However, killing the tree entirely is a fairly unlikely outcome. What’s more likely is that incorrect pruning will stunt the tree’s growth, result in an ugly canopy and potentially compromise its structural integrity. An unstable tree is a dangerous tree, so improper pruning can ultimately put you in harm’s way. So, to help you avoid ending up with a dangerous, ugly or stunted tree, let’s visit some of the fundamental points about pruning. We’ll take you through the basics of pruning, what it is and what it is not. Then we’ll look at the best times for tree pruning, the main advantages and risks of pruning.

Pruning: what it is and what it’s not

There are many misconceptions about pruning that can lead to unrealistic expectations of what it can achieve, or some terrible application of the practice that can result in some truly horrendous canopies. Pruning is not the pulling off or trimming of leaves, nor is it the removal of half the tree. In tree management, pruning is the cutting away of dead, dying or unwanted branches or stems in order to encourage healthy growth.

You will note that there are a couple of seemingly subjective parts to this definition: unwanted and healthy growth. While this may seem vague, these terms are fairly clear for trained arborists. Our arborists will define the unwanted parts of a tree as those that pose a threat to the overall health of the tree, or potentially a threat to nearby people or residents if the branch is overhanging or overweight. Healthy growth is another concept that can be a little tricky to determine for amateurs, however for qualified tree surgeons this is a fairly clear cut concept. Depending on the species of tree, different types of pruning will encourage a balanced growth that will enable the tree to flourish overall.

Right and wrong times to prune

There is no simple answer to the best timing for tree pruning, as it will come down to the species of trees. However, in general it is best to prune your trees during the warmer months as this will be the time when your trees will be able to recover and stimulate new growth faster. To find out when is the best time to have your trees pruned, get in touch with our experienced team today.

Advantages and risks of tree pruning

Allowing your tree to grow without being pruned can result in slow growth, imbalanced structural problems, overgrown branches, overweight branches, excess leaf clutter in your garden, the obstruction of sunlight and obstructed views. Proper pruning can solve these issues and promote a healthier, safer growth in your trees that will ensure that they prosper. However, improper pruning can magnify the issues instead of solving them. For this reason it is important that you get your trees regularly pruned by professional arborists, instead of risking poor results for your trees.