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Pruning is one of the most effective measures for keeping landscape trees healthy. However, when is the best time to prune? writer Meghan Shinn offers a useful suggestion:


Fall is a good time to prune your trees. Not only are trees dormant in the colder months, but it is also easier to see a tree’s structure when there are no leaves on the branches. “Proper pruning is vital to the health of trees and plants, in part because it helps relieve stress on trees and keeps them growing,” says Skiera.

Some property owners in Palo Alto, however, may not give as much thought to tree trimming in the fall, believing that the city isn’t a snow-prone area. However, it does experience a significant change of weather in between seasons, averaging as high as 80 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer and as low as 42 degrees Fahrenheit in the fall. With those figures, it only makes sense to consider tree pruning in Palo Alto to ensure utmost care for foliage in cold weather. Here is a look at the best practices:

The right tools
Property owners should be willing to invest in high-quality tools. One of the essential tools is a pair of hand clippers, which come in two varieties. Anvil clippers are best used for dry, old growth while two-bladed bypass clippers are best for new, green growth. Another invaluable tool is the aptly named pruning saw, which is ideal for cutting thick branches flawlessly.

The right pruning cut
Having the right tools is useless if individuals don’t know how to use them correctly. For instance, in pruning, the cut should be made a little outside the branch collar, which consists of the trunk or parent branch tissues. If the cut is made within the branch collar, this means the trunk is cut. The open wound in the trunk will serve as an entryway for bacteria, eventually causing an infection.

The right techniques
While tree trimming is mostly Palo Alto tree care and maintenance efforts, its various techniques are designed to serve a specific function. For instance, crown cleaning is mostly for removing dead, dying, or diseased branches, while crown thinning is mainly for removing branches to restore the tree’s natural shape.

There are a lot of factors to consider when pruning, most of which may be overwhelming for those unfamiliar with the practice. As such, it’s best for property owners to rely on tree care experts like Bay Area Tree Specialists who are experts in tree pruning best practices.

(Source: Fall Tree Care,, November 8, 2011)