Glossary Page
Pruning - There are numerous varieties of pruning, such as formative, structural,
hazard, vista, canopy lifting, canopy thinning, canopy cleaning, restorative, and
clearance pruning.
In all cases, a preventative, anticipative, and directive approach is always the best
way to prune, as opposed to a reactionary approach trying to either restore a tree
after it has shown very clear signs of failure and or health issues, all of which almost
always are avoidable if an experienced arborist is trusted with the routine care of the
trees on the property. All pruning by
ArborCare and Consulting will follow the ANZI
pruning standards and I.S.A. Best Management Practices. Briefly, our
Levels of
Pruning  reflects three degrees of quality canopy cleaning - whichever best suits the
needs of the property owner. If other types of pruning found below are to be
included, they will be specified in the proposed contract.

  • Formative Pruning: Young trees (under 18-20ft.)  either purchased from a nursery or native trees
    on your property often go un pruned during one of the most critical parts in their development. To
    avoid poor branching structure and attachments, to maintain (or create as often is the case) a
    single leader (main or singular trunk of origin), undesired canopy form and or size it is very
    important to have an expert pruner assess the tree and prune accordingly to help that particular
    specimen to fulfill the property owner's hopes and expectations for it. In regards to nursery trees, to
    expect that they received this quality of care is ideal but unrealistic - rarely do they do any pruning
    on their product (except when they break a branch) or even have someone competent enough to
    perform this service.
  • Structural Pruning: This is basically formative pruning for older, more mature trees. Often it is
    utilized after a large, structurally-unsound branch fails and the tree owner becomes alarmed. At this
    juncture it is probable that the tree will not obtain the quality of vitality and vigor it could have
    reached if the pruning had occurred during its formative stages. Often this form of pruning dovetails
    into hazardous pruning.
  • Hazard Pruning: First, this pruning requires a more in depth assessment than other forms of
    pruning and usually includes a charge prior to any pruning. It can include the removal of either entire
    trees (pruning at ground level) or specific parts of the tree that pose a threat significant enough to
    the property owner to warrant their removal (In some cases though, it is important to note that the
    property owner may, in the eyes of the court, bear responsibility for the reasonable security of a tree
    and therefore are liable and thus obligated to maintain that degree of security). In a nutshell, the
    probability of a failure and the likelihood of a "target" (person, car, etc.) present at the time of the
    failure, and finally the foreseeable damage govern the use and extent of this pruning type.
  • Vista Pruning: Trees are an important part of a scenic view, but at times they can hinder other
    parts that are deemed more desirable by the property owner. In these instances either singular or a
    large grouping of them may need side pruning or top pruning. We do not top trees in these instances
    though. We practice what is called drop-crotch pruning where we prune back to a secondary leader,
    which is at least 1/3 the diameter of the branch of origin. The same pruning principle is applied in
    side pruning and all other pruning cuts performed. Sometimes due to the type of tree, the size of
    tree and quantity needed to provide the view - the property owner may need to decide if they are
    willing to remove the entire tree. We do not top trees and may refuse to remove them if we deem the
    value of the tree greater than the resulting view. In instances where a tree will later pose an issue to
    a view, we recommend preemptive pruning and possibly hormonal tree growth regulation.
  • Canopy Lifting: Sometimes, a view can be opened up sufficiently by pruning up the canopy.
    Typically, over landscaping, sidewalks and most driveways a height of 8' is sufficient, but if needed
    for a better view of a building, a view (including for security reasons), street clearance of 14',
    equipment or large vehicle access, and other construction purposes - varied/disproportionate/non-
    uniform/unbalanced canopy lifting is necessary.
  • Canopy Thinning: Not enough sunlight? Maybe your trees canopy is so thick that there is only
    foliation at the outer tips of branches, which consequently show little tapering (noticeable diameter
    decrease from trunk of origin to end of branch? Along with structural pruning, which will
    undoubtedly effect a thinning of the canopy, thinning also strengthens the taper and growth of
    resistance wood as wind is allowed to flex and move branches in varied directions, which effects a
    healthier tree due to decreased chances of branch failure. As with vista pruning, trees are a part of
    a landscape, in which they need to be thinned in order of the other parts to thrive.
  • Canopy Cleaning: This is the most common form of pruning and usually includes varying degrees
    (depending on the property-owner's final selection) of quantity removal of foreign growths (such as:
    parasites -mistletoe, epiphites - ball moss, fungi - conks, etc.), and of dead or dying branches, and
    any branches that need to be removed for the health of the tree.
Planting - Where, what, when and by whom? These questions are crucial, but most importantly the
last - the success of the tree planting is dependent upon the knowledge, competencies, and degree of care
and commitment of the expert to their principles and client's long-term satisfaction. Numerous, sometimes
complex factors will play a part in the decision process for tree planting. The most important question after
"whom" is "what". First, what will grow successfully. This includes an evaluation of the cold hardiness
zone, amount and timing of sunlight in proposed placement, and of lesser importance the soil type, and
analysis of soil fertility (These can all be manipulated to varying levels to allow for an expanded base of
potentially successful plants). Where - mature growth potential of the species should be considered in both
the placement and spacing of any tree. Again, as noted in vista pruning, it is possible to practice hormonal
regulation of the tree's growth rate and drop-crotch pruning practices in order to manipulate the mature
growth potential of a tree, if the client deems it desirable. Finally, when should this planting occur. As with
many of the other manipulable factors, this answer depends on the flexibility of the client and their budget.
Anytime of year is possible (excluding large-scale, previously un-dug transplant trees). Growth regulator
and antitranspirant applications, along with optimal irrigation and fertilization can greatly increase the
success of summer-time planting. Otherwise, mid-November through mid-April are the ideal months to
plant (fruit and non-hardy trees after April).

Removals - Hazardous trees, that pose a significant threat to either humans or objects of value,
ought to seriously be considered for removal. If the danger is obvious and imminent, liability requires this
action. In those cases where it is not clearly evident, the property owner must weigh the evidence and
decide as they see fit. More frequently than should be the case though, property owners want to eradicate
particular species entirely from their property, or rare and or historic specimen trees for pseudo-scientific
reasons or sheer vanity. In these instances - for those reasons, a true, professional arborist will not
comply. In the event that the request is warranted though, it is important to check up on the qualifications of
the contractor to accomplish the task. From the dangers of life-threatening mistakes, to causing divets in
the turf or damaging freshly planted flowers, this task is usually one of the most challenging services a tree
care company can offer. The contractor's knowledge of, and capacity to utilize rigging gear such as: bull
ropes, pulleys, blocks, whoopie and loopie slings, loop runners and heavy duty carabiners is essential, and
a good sign of their capacity to effectively accomplish the task. Contrary to most contractors view - this
high-priced gear speeds up work and impresses clients - which hopefully increases client retention! We
remove trees to at least 1 1/2" of ground level and will try ensure that a lawnmower can travel undamaged
over the stump, but in some cases this is not possible and it will be specified in the proposed contract.

Stump Grinding - Stumps are often considered unsightly and it is desirable to remove them. Our
stump grinding is performed by a hydraulic machine that can grind to a depth of 14". We can also trace out
large runner roots as well if requested. Our basic grinding unless specified other wise is the main stump
only to a depth of 6". This is sufficient for the planting of grass up to small-sized shrubs. The basic grinding
does not include removal of the shaving or soil filling - both of which is more economically done by the
client, but can be done on request. In the case that another tree absolutely must be planted in the same
location - a depth of 6" is totally inadequate. The entire root ball and all runner roots above 3" in diameter
must also be ground out, or there will be serious difficulty first in the planting and also in the later growth of
the tree.

Diagnosis -

Fertilization -

Cabling/Bracing -

Consulting -

Public Education -

Tree Value Estimates -

Tree Risk Assessments -

Landscape Services -

Pest Management -

Tree Preservation Planning -

Tree Relocation -b 9 b? ??