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Some homeowners opt to have trees in their yard to increase their home’s curb appeal, while some want the same for an entirely different reason: shade. Places like San Jose, California are lucky to have an abundant supply of shade trees. Writer Tony Tomeo, for the San Jose Mercury News, has this to say:


“Like various architecture, various shade trees make different flavors of shade. Silk tree, honeylocust and silver maple make broad shadows of relatively light shade. Because they are deciduous, they allow sunlight through while they are bare in winter. Southern magnolia, Canary Island pine and Canary Island date palm make darker shade throughout the year.”

While most of these trees are extremely functional as sources of shade, some species grow extremely fast, requiring homeowners to think of ways to control their growth. Silver maple, for instance, grows by about 10 to 20 inches per year and reaches a height of 100 feet and width of 70 feet. For this reason, silver maple trees require pruning at least once a year, especially during its formative stage. Homeowners who cannot handle the pruning needs of such trees can turn to San Jose tree care experts like Bay Area Tree Specialists for help.

Pruning actually has several definitions, but essentially, it means removing parts of the trees or plants for aesthetics or for better functionality. Although some homeowners may want to prune their trees themselves, the job is best handled by tree care and maintenance specialists who have been trained for such tasks. Tree care professionals know what pruning method to use. Here’s a look at a few pruning methods:

Crown Raising
Here, the low-lying branches are removed. The ultimate goal of this method is to provide vertical clearance, especially if certain branches are obstructing walkways or pathways. A universal rule in crown raising is to remove not more than 30 percent of living branches per season.

Crown Reduction
This method is ideal for trees that have grown too large for their respective spaces. While the term hints at focusing on the topmost part of the trees or the canopies, it’s not always the case. Crown reduction means cutting out certain parts to reduce not only the trees’ height but their spread as well; ultimately, their overall shape.

With thinning, the overall crown weight is significantly reduced, allowing for better light penetration and air movement. This type of tree pruning, which Palo Alto tree trimming companies can do, promotes vigorous growth for the remaining branches and shoots.

Many homeowners can’t imagine their yards empty of trees. They must remember, though, that proper tree maintenance comes into play to ensure these nature’s wonders provide the beauty and shade they deserve.

(Source: San Jose: 50 shades of gray when it comes to all the ways gardens get sunlight,, April 30, 2014)