University of Florida

Home > Pruning shade trees > Practice pruning > Structural pruning needed?

Structural pruning needed?

back buttonnext button

common tree shape

This is a common tree shape and structure on a variety of shade trees. There are many upright and spreading branches originating from about the same spot on the trunk. Can it or should it be pruned to improve the structure and reduce failure potential? It depends. If the are no cracks, bark inclusions or other defects present little pruning may be needed. If there is a limb (or limbs) with a bark inclusion or other defect, consider shortening it with a reduction cut but be careful not to leave adjacent parts of the canopy too exposed to wind. Some trees with this form and structure could be reduced in size somewhat using reduction cuts. Some arborists would thin this canopy in an attempt to minimize breakage in a storm.