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One of the important parts of responsible tree care in Palo Alto is to regularly prune the trees on your property. Regular pruning can ensure that your tree will develop well and have a strong structure. Cutting off branches removes diseased and rotten parts that can spread infection as well as damaged parts that can be a danger to others. The crown of the tree is also trimmed to better promote growth and air circulation. All of these improves the tree’s health and looks.


Your decision to prune a tree or not should be based on what you want to do to a tree and what season it is. Many people like to do their pruning during the winter months; this is when a tree goes dormant and can encourage a burst of new growth when spring comes. Summer pruning is done when you want to do some corrective work on a tree, since during the summer growth is slowed down and it is easy to detect any thing that needs correcting.

Once you’ve decided to prune a tree or the trees in your yard, you’ll have to think on whether to do it yourself or have someone else do it. Organic Gardening has an article that advises when you should go and seek professional help:

Most pruning work is easy for home gardeners to do. But call a professional arborist about:

  • Any cut you can’t make from the ground with pole pruners.
  • Any work—whether you can reach it or not—in a tree near power lines.
  • Storm damage repair where heavy limbs are still attached or hung up in the crown of the tree.

Tree service companies like Bay Area Tree Specialists can provide professional tree pruning for Palo Alto residences, so you can hire them to do the pruning for you. However, as mentioned above, a lot of pruning work can be done by people on their own. To do basic cuts, take three steps. First, do a small wedge-shaped cut under the branch and remember to prevent any tears from running along the bark or stem tissue. Second, somewhere further up the branch, cut all the way through leaving a stub at the end. Finally, reduce the stub as completely as possible.

Since tree pruning can significantly affect the health of a tree, better make sure that if you can’t prune a tree well, hand over the task to experienced professionals instead.