Glossary Page
Pruning - There are numerous varieties of pruning, such as
formative, structural, hazard, vista, canopy lifting, canopy thinning,
canopy cleaning, restorative, and clearance pruning.
In all cases, a preventative, anticipative, and directive approach is
always the best way to prune, as opposed to a reactionary approach
trying to either restore a tree after it has shown very clear signs of
failure and or health issues, all of which almost always are avoidable if
an experienced arborist is trusted with the routine care of the trees
on the property. All pruning by
ArborCare and Consulting will follow
the ANZI pruning standards and I.S.A. Best Management Practices.
Briefly, our
Levels of Pruning  reflects three degrees of quality
canopy cleaning - whichever best suits the needs of the property
owner. If other types of pruning found below are to be included, they
will be specified in the proposed contract.

  • Formative Pruning: Young trees (under 18-20ft.)  either purchased from a
    nursery or native trees on your property often go un pruned during one of the
    most critical parts in their development. To avoid poor branching structure and
    attachments, to maintain (or create as often is the case) a single leader (main or
    singular trunk of origin), undesired canopy form and or size it is very important
    to have an expert pruner assess the tree and prune accordingly to help that
    particular specimen to fulfill the property owner's hopes and expectations for it.
    In regards to nursery trees, to expect that they received this quality of care is
    ideal but unrealistic - rarely do they do any pruning on their product (except
    when they break a branch) or even have someone competent enough to perform
    this service.
  • Structural Pruning: This is basically formative pruning for older, more
    mature trees. Often it is utilized after a large, structurally-unsound branch fails
    and the tree owner becomes alarmed. At this juncture it is probable that the tree
    will not obtain the quality of vitality and vigor it could have reached if the pruning
    had occurred during its formative stages. Often this form of pruning dovetails
    into hazardous pruning.
  • Hazard Pruning: First, this pruning requires a more in depth assessment than
    other forms of pruning and usually includes a charge prior to any pruning. It can
    include the removal of either entire trees (pruning at ground level) or specific
    parts of the tree that pose a threat significant enough to the property owner to
    warrant their removal (In some cases though, it is important to note that the
    property owner may, in the eyes of the court, bear responsibility for the
    reasonable security of a tree and therefore are liable and thus obligated to
    maintain that degree of security). In a nutshell, the probability of a failure and the
    likelihood of a "target" (person, car, etc.) present at the time of the failure, and
    finally the foreseeable damage govern the use and extent of this pruning type.
  • Vista Pruning: Trees are an important part of a scenic view, but at times they
    can hinder other parts that are deemed more desirable by the property owner. In
    these instances either singular or a large grouping of them may need side
    pruning or top pruning. We do not top trees in these instances though. We
    practice what is called drop-crotch pruning where we prune back to a
    secondary leader, which is at least 1/3 the diameter of the branch of origin. The
    same pruning principle is applied in side pruning and all other pruning cuts
    performed. Sometimes due to the type of tree, the size of tree and quantity
    needed to provide the view - the property owner may need to decide if they are
    willing to remove the entire tree. We do not top trees and may refuse to remove
    them if we deem the value of the tree greater than the resulting view. In
    instances where a tree will later pose an issue to a view, we recommend
    preemptive pruning and possibly hormonal tree growth regulation.
  • Canopy Lifting: Sometimes, a view can be opened up sufficiently by pruning
    up the canopy. Typically, over landscaping, sidewalks and most driveways a
    height of 8' is sufficient, but if needed for a better view of a building, a view
    (including for security reasons), street clearance of 14', equipment or large
    vehicle access, and other construction purposes - varied/disproportionate/non-
    uniform/unbalanced canopy lifting is necessary.
  • Canopy Thinning: Not enough sunlight? Maybe your trees canopy is so thick
    that there is only foliation at the outer tips of branches, which consequently
    show little tapering (noticeable diameter decrease from trunk of origin to end of
    branch? Along with structural pruning, which will undoubtedly effect a thinning
    of the canopy, thinning also strengthens the taper and growth of resistance
    wood as wind is allowed to flex and move branches in varied directions, which
    effects a healthier tree due to decreased chances of branch failure. As with
    vista pruning, trees are a part of a landscape, in which they need to be thinned in
    order of the other parts to thrive.
  • Canopy Cleaning: This is the most common form of pruning and usually
    includes varying degrees (depending on the property-owner's final selection) of
    quantity removal of foreign growths (such as: parasites -mistletoe, epiphites -
    ball moss, fungi - conks, etc.), and of dead or dying branches, and any branches
    that need to be removed for the health of the tree.
Planting - Where, what, when and by whom? These questions are crucial, but
most importantly the last - the success of the tree planting is dependent upon the
knowledge, competencies, and degree of care and commitment of the expert to their
principles and client's long-term satisfaction. Numerous, sometimes complex factors
will play a part in the decision process for tree planting. The most important question
after "whom" is "what". First, what will grow successfully. This includes an evaluation
of the cold hardiness zone, amount and timing of sunlight in proposed placement, and
of lesser importance the soil type, and analysis of soil fertility (These can all be
manipulated to varying levels to allow for an expanded base of potentially successful
plants). Where - mature growth potential of the species should be considered in both
the placement and spacing of any tree. Again, as noted in vista pruning, it is possible to
practice hormonal regulation of the tree's growth rate and drop-crotch pruning
practices in order to manipulate the mature growth potential of a tree, if the client
deems it desirable. Finally, when should this planting occur. As with many of the other
manipulable factors, this answer depends on the flexibility of the client and their budget.
Anytime of year is possible (excluding large-scale, previously un-dug transplant trees).
Growth regulator and antitranspirant applications, along with optimal irrigation and
fertilization can greatly increase the success of summer-time planting. Otherwise, mid-
November through mid-April are the ideal months to plant (fruit and non-hardy trees
after April).

Removals - Hazardous trees, that pose a significant threat to either humans or
objects of value, ought to seriously be considered for removal. If the danger is obvious
and imminent, liability requires this action. In those cases where it is not clearly
evident, the property owner must weigh the evidence and decide as they see fit. More
frequently than should be the case though, property owners want to eradicate
particular species entirely from their property, or rare and or historic specimen trees
for pseudo-scientific reasons or sheer vanity. In these instances - for those reasons, a
true, professional arborist will not comply. In the event that the request is warranted
though, it is important to check up on the qualifications of the contractor to accomplish
the task. From the dangers of life-threatening mistakes, to causing divets in the turf or
damaging freshly planted flowers, this task is usually one of the most challenging
services a tree care company can offer. The contractor's knowledge of, and capacity to
utilize rigging gear such as: bull ropes, pulleys, blocks, whoopie and loopie slings, loop
runners and heavy duty carabiners is essential, and a good sign of their capacity to
effectively accomplish the task. Contrary to most contractors view - this high-priced
gear speeds up work and impresses clients - which hopefully increases client
retention! We remove trees to at least 1 1/2" of ground level and will try ensure that a
lawnmower can travel undamaged over the stump, but in some cases this is not
possible and it will be specified in the proposed contract.

Stump Grinding - Stumps are often considered unsightly and it is desirable to
remove them. Our stump grinding is performed by a hydraulic machine that can grind to
a depth of 14". We can also trace out large runner roots as well if requested. Our basic
grinding unless specified other wise is the main stump only to a depth of 6". This is
sufficient for the planting of grass up to small-sized shrubs. The basic grinding does
not include removal of the shaving or soil filling - both of which is more economically
done by the client, but can be done on request. In the case that another tree absolutely
must be planted in the same location - a depth of 6" is totally inadequate. The entire
root ball and all runner roots above 3" in diameter must also be ground out, or there will
be serious difficulty first in the planting and also in the later growth of the tree.

Diagnosis -

Fertilization -

Cabling/Bracing -

Consulting -

Public Education -

Tree Value Estimates -

Tree Risk Assessments -

Landscape Services -

Pest Management -

Tree Preservation Planning -

Tree Relocation -