Reasons for pruning:
Prune to promote plant health
Remove dead or dying branches injured by disease, severe insect infestation, animals, storms, or other adverse mechanical damage.
Remove branches that rub together.
Remove branch stubs
Avoid topping trees. Removing large branches leaves stubs that can cause several health problems. It also destroys the plant's natural shape and promotes suckering and development of weak branch structures.
Prune to maintain plants; intended purposes in a landscape, such as:
encouraging flower and fruit development
maintaining a dense hedge
maintaining a desired plant form or special garden forms
Prune to improve plant appearance
Appearance in the landscape is essential to a plant's usefulness. For most landscapes, a plant's natural form is best. Avoid shearing shrubs into tight geometrical forms that can adversely affect flowering unless it needs to be confined or trained for a specific purpose. When plants are properly pruned, it is difficult to see that they have been pruned! Prune to:
control plant size and shape
keep shrubby evergreens well-proportioned and dense
remove unwanted branches, waterspouts, suckers, and undesirable fruiting structures that detract from plant appearance
Prune to protect people and property
Remove dead branches
Have hazardous trees taken down
Prune out weak or narrow-angled tree branches that overhang homes, parking areas, and sidewalks – anyplace falling limbs could injure people or damage property
Eliminate branches that interfere with street lights, traffic signals, and overhead wires. REMEMBER, DO NOT attempt to prune near electrical and utility wires. Contact utility companies or city maintenance workers to handle it
Prune branches that obscure vision at intersections
For security purposes, prune shrubs or tree branches that obscure the entry to your home
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