The Tree Pruning Guidelines Professionals Follow

Tree pruning may seem like a typical DIY task, but it requires proper knowledge and equipment to do it right. Moreover, you need to consider the plant species and size, purpose of pruning, and location, among other factors. Ultimately, you want to preserve tree health and avoid premature damage.  

As a top-rated and reliable tree service in Land O’ Lakes, the team at Arborist Aboard would like to highlight a couple of tree pruning guidelines experts follow to achieve various pruning objectives and sustain healthy tree development.  

Ensure Proper Timing  

You can prune weak, dying, or dead branches at any time of the year. However, recommended times vary with different plants.  

Generally, you want to prune when the plants are dormant. That way, you reduce plant stress, access limbs easier, and identify the proper spots to make the right cuts.   

Prune Selectively  

Proper pruning follows a definite plan. The reason or purpose of pruning often guides the process. Ultimately, pruned trees need to be healthy.  

For example, by making cuts in a particular order, you can reduce the total number of cuts significantly. Remove dead, diseased, broken, or problem limbs by cutting them back to a strong lateral branch or shoot or at the point of origin. 

This technique opens up the canopy, eliminating the need for further pruning.  

When pruning young trees, do it either in the nursery stage or during/right after planting.  

Certified arborists recommend the following tree pruning guidelines and types of cuts:  

  • Thinning cuts help remove an entire branch, shoot, or scaffold without disrupting the tree’s growth, health, or shape.
  • Heading cuts aim to develop new, strong shoots and create shade but require extra caution to avoid compromising the tree’s health.  

Follow the 1/3 Rule  

This rule primarily applies to fruit trees as it helps to ensure they remain productive. The rule involves trimming no more than 1/3 of the branch, as over-trimming may increase the chances of shock or stunt tree growth. On the flip side, trimming too little rarely achieves the desired result.  

Make Cuts on the Undersides  

Prune on the underside of the branch to avoid triggering the growth of upright shoots and keep pruning costs in check.  

Use Proper Tools and Equipment  

Experts use different types of tools and equipment to assist and complete pruning work in different scenarios. The choice of equipment typically depends on factors such as the pruning objectives, tree part size, and accessibility.  

Common equipment used in pruning work include:  

  • Hand pruner  
  • Looper  
  • Hand saw  
  • Extension pruner  
  • Pole saw  
  • Chain saw  

If necessary, wear appropriate clothing and put on proper personal protective equipment such as goggles, gloves, safety boots, and helmets. Also, clean and sterilize pruning tools and equipment to minimize the risk of pests and diseases spreading from one tree to another.  

Remove Old, Tired Spurs  

Weak spurs tend to bloom late and may eventually produce smaller fruits. Prune them back to one or two buds facing up to help ensure they get more exposure to sunlight and grow strong and healthy.  

Trust Your Local Tree Experts  

Look no further than Arborist Aboard for the comprehensive arbor services you need to keep your property, residential or commercial, looking its best. We take great pride in our work, and our customers count on us for various tree services, including:  

  • Tree trimming and pruning  
  • Tree removal  
  • Arborist consulting  
  • Disaster relief services  

Call the Arborist Aboard team any time at (813) 920-4410 to request a free quote for tree service in Land O’ Lakes, Florida. Reach out to learn about the best time to hire a tree service or for more information on tree pruning guidelines. 


Arborist Aboard is owned and operated by an ISA Certified Arborist and a second-generation tree care professional. We take great pride in our work and the customers we serve, commercial and residential.

Contact Us

8611 Vivian Bass Way
Odessa, FL. 33556
(813) 920-4410

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