Vancouver urban trees

Compendium of Best Urban Forest Management Practices

Chapter 10. Pruning Practices

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The most common tree maintenance practice is pruning, representing 62% of daily activities in the field. There are several reasons to prune urban trees: to prevent branches from falling on objects or people, to allow remaining branches to bear more weight; to improve the health and quality of the tree by removing damaged, dead, diseased or crossed branches; to control the size and shape of the tree; to correct for storm damage; and clearance from hydro and other utilities. The most widely recognized reason for pruning urban trees is for safety. Pruning can reduce tree size and affect the health of a tree as a result of tissue removal. Reduction of leaf, shoot, or root volumes and the carbohydrate and nutrient reserves they contain directly disrupts and limits potential growth. Ultimate effects of pruning on tree growth and size must be considered in relation to tree age, growth and fruiting habits, stage of tissue development, and the environment to which the tree is exposed (Kozlowski 1991).


Pruning advice: City of Edmonton
Training and Pruning Apple Trees: University of McGill
Pruning Trees and Shrubs: Natural Resources Canada
Tree Pruning: City of Moose Jaw, SK

Online documents (.PDF or .DOC)

Maintaining Healthy Urban Trees, Landowner Resource Centre (Ontario)

Non-Canadian sites & resources

How to Prune Trees, USDA Forest Service
How to Prune a Tree, Virginia Department of Forestry
Pruning to Promote Strong Branches, Virginia Department of Forestry
Follow Proper Pruning Techniques
Pruning Young Trees, ISA
Pruning Mature Trees, ISA
Urban Tree Foundation: Pruning Landscape Trees
Tree Pruning Guide: Seattle, WA (.PDF)
Pruning and Training Small Trees and Shrubs (.PPT)
Crown Pruning Effects on Roots, University of Georgia (.PDF)

Bibliographical Resources:

Brooklyn Botanic Garden Record. Pruning Techniques. Brooklyn Botanic Garden Inc. New York, New York, 1991. 96 p.

Clair-Maczulajtys, D., Le Disquet, I., Bory, G. Pruning Stress: Changes in the tree physiology and their effects on the tree health. Laboratoire de Physiologie de l’Arbre, Université Paris, France. Symposium on urban tree health, Acta Hort 496. ISHS 1999.

Coder, Kim. Pruning effects on tree growth: Growth regulation consequences. University of Georgia. January 1998.

Gilman, Edward. Trees for Urban and Suburban Landscapes: An Illustrated Guide to Pruning. Delmar: Thomson Learning Inc. Scarborough, Ontario, 1997. 178 p.

Kozlowski, Theodore, Kramer, Paul, Pallardy, Stephen. The Physiological Ecology of Woody Plants. Academic Press, San Diego, California. 1991. 657 p.


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