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Structural Pruning

Structural Pruning is one of the specialized practices we perform at Harrison McPhee.

Structural pruning has an objective of creating a stronger tree, (large or small) through the reduction of mass within a tree. This entails the pruning back, or shortening of long limbs (also know as subordinating) to reduce weight, leverage, and surface area. In the long run, it prevents buildup of heavy wet snow, or even rain, causing a structural failure of a limb.


There will also be less motion, or "wind whipping," by shortening the limbs. The limbs are pruned back to smaller, secondary limbs that are large enough to continue growing from where the reduction cuts were made. This also re-distributes the tree’s growth hormones, encouraging growth in other areas of the tree. Meanwhile, the remaining portion of the formerly long limbs put on girth over time and add further stability.

Limb Removal

Another part of this process is removal of any dead limbs from within the tree. Pruning dead limbs removes safety hazards and addresses growth issues such as crossing, conflicting, or redundant limbs. Limbs that compete with a dominant trunk would be subordinated, or removed, as would limbs that are not growing at an ideal angulation for the tree. If there is poor angulation, a high tensile support cable is necessary to ensure proper branch safety.

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