Pruning is the practice of removing specific portions of a tree or shrub (such as roots, buds, or branches) that are dead and dying due to pests, disease, and lack of sunlight or trimming for healthy plant development and aesthetic purposes.

Your plants need help and regular maintenance. They must be watered and fertilized regularly. Pruning isn’t always about appearance either.

Consider the following benefits of pruning trees and plants .

  • Ensures health:

Pruning keeps your trees healthy. Pruning involves removing dead, infected and excess branches.

Proper pruning also allows more air circulation and sun exposure for healthy growth. This promotes new grown, balance and structural integrity.

  • Safety:

Dead branches can pose a risk to life and property especially during storms. Trees near power lines are also a risky.

Pruning helps prevent accidents by removing high risk branches from your tree.

  • Encourages fruit production:

You can prune fruit trees during dry season  to promote more growth in rainy season. When the tree has less volume to maintain, it can put its excess energy stores into producing more fruit.

  • Appearance:

Overgrown trees and hanging branches can look ugly and bring down the curb appeal of your property.

 Pruning keeps trees in shape and increases the value and look of your property.

  • More sunlight:

Trees can block the entry of sunlight to your home.

By clearing the obstructing branches you can allow more light in and save on power.

  • Growth control:

You can control the growth of your trees through tree pruning. You can make a tree easier to maintain this way.

Pruning trees in dry season generally limits their growth while pruning in rainy season leads to robust growth.

  • Improves view:

You can prune the branches blocking the view of your windows, balconies and skylights.

pruning plants


There are several different types of pruning.

  • Thinning – This procedure removes branches at the base, right alongside the trunk.
  • Topping – This is a drastic process that removes most of the branches down to the trunk. Topping is commonly used when training young trees to grow certain ways.
  • Raising – This involves the trimming of low-hanging branches to create headroom for pedestrians, parked cars or entryways.
  • Reduction – This means trimming back a tree’s volume, typically for safety reasons, such as creating space for power lines.

What should be pruned?

What needs to be pruned depends on your objectives-

  • Dead wood – You can remove dead and decaying branches to maintain health of your tree.
    Crossing Branches – When branches grow inwards towards the canopy instead of out, they tend to rub against other branches in the wind causing the bark to sheer off. This can lead to fungal disease or pest invasion.
    Lower branches – Known as a canopy lift, this is a great place to start if you are looking to increase light.

It’s also important to remember not to prune too much off of a tree.

Generally, you want to prune the smallest amount you possibly can that achieves the desired effect.

Never prune more than ¼ of the crown of a tree, as this is where most of its leaves are located and consequently where it gets most of its energy.

You run the risk of fatally damaging the tree if too much is pruned too quickly.


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