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Tree pruning is often required to remove dead branches, to regulate the size and shape of a tree, to promote growth, or to improve the quality of flowers or fruit. But pruning needs to be done properly. Improper pruning can cause trees to become distressed, diseased, or unsightly. This is why it is so important to make sure your pruning is done by a professional.

Over pruning trees is one of most common mistakes homeowners make when maintaining their trees. The common homeowner doesn’t have a full understanding about tree functioning and health. Often, a homeowner will rely on unsound advice and will over prune. That is why it is so important to consult with a tree service professional in Palo Alto before you attempt to prune your own trees.

There are many ways that over pruning can be damaging to your trees.


Cuts made to trees are wounds. Just like a wound to the human body, it will need time to heal. The fewer cuts made, the better. Smaller cuts over a tree’s lifespan are better than large ones. One large cut, or too many, can destroy a tree. Making sure that pruning is done by a professional tree service in Palo Alto will help to ensure that your tree is not exposed to needless disease and decay.

Sun scald

Sun scald happens when a tree gets too much exposure to the sun. It can affect any part of the tree. When a sunscald reaches the tree’s inner tissue, organisms, insects, bacteria, and fungi can move in and cause irreversible damage to the tree.

Decreased Photosynthesis

Photosynthesis is how a tree produces its food. This is done through the leaves. Removing a large amount of foliage significantly reduces a tree’s ability to produce food for itself. The tree’s food storage is decreased with every pruning, and it is important to maintain enough foliage to maintain the health and vitality of a tree.

Increased Wind Damage

A tree will bend and flex with nature. The best structure for a tree is one that has a uniform amount of stress capability from winds or other forces of nature. If lower limbs are removed, it increases the stress load on the trunk and roots. In this way, a tree can experience structural failure due to high winds.

Reduced Limb Strength

When too much foliage or lateral growth has been removed, a tree is subject to more stress which can lead to limb breakage. Even amounts of outward growth and foliage distribution balances the stress load instead of concentrating it at particular points.

Interior Sprouting

When a tree has been over pruned, it will react by producing interior growth instead of tip growth. When a tree is suddenly exposed to too much sun, the tree will try to attempt to protect its bark.

There are many good reasons to prune your trees. There are safety, health, and structural benefits of a professional pruning by a tree service in Palo Alto. But experience counts when it comes to properly pruning a tree. Call the experts at Bay Area Tree Specialists. We would be happy to answer any of your tree pruning questions.