April 29

Top Tree Pruning Techniques



When it comes to pruning trees, there are plenty of ways to prune and sculpt your trees so that they look beautiful all year long.

Arborists know that there are classes of tree pruning that actually tell how much will be taken off of the tree. At Menchhofer Tree Care, we usually determine how much is healthy and compare the pricing.

Typically, we can adjust what we need to do for each customer compared to what they can spend. If it sounds like we are talking a foreign language when we tell you the type of tree pruning we will do, here is a guide:

Structural pruning

Structural pruning is the removal of live branches and stems to change the orientation of the tree, spacing, the growth rate, the strength of attachment, and the general size of the branches and stems. This technique is usually done on young and medium sized trees.

Crown Cleaning

Crown cleaning, or pruning to clean, is the removal of detached, diseased, broken, and dead branches. This is used to reduce the risk of any falling branches or to prevent the spread of decay, pests, and diseases into healthier parts of the tree.

Crown Raising

Also called pruning to raise, this is the selective removal of the lowest branches for vertical clearance. This provides room for nearby structures underneath the tree like building, signs, vehicles, and pedestrians. Trees may have to have this process for building and road codes.

Crown Thinning

Also called pruning to thin, this is a selective removing of smaller, live branches to reduce density. When done by a professional, proper thinning keeps the shape of the crown and provides even distribution of foliage.

Crown Reduction

Pruning to reduce or crown reduction is the selective removal of branches to decrease the height and spread of a tree. This is done to minimize the risk of branch failure, reduce the height of a tree, make utility line clearance, clear vegetation from buildings, and to just generally improve the appearance.


Tree removal, best done by a professional, is the cutting of all above ground parts of the tree.  The stump hole is refilled to two inches above grade.


Cutting off of all above ground parts of the tree and leaving the stump flush to the ground. Remove all debris from the site.

Photo Courtesy of Rich Gambale on Flickr!

Menchhofer Tree Care

About Steve Menchhofer

Steve Menchhofer has been caring for the trees of the Indianapolis, Indiana metro area for over 40 years. Steve and his team of experienced, certified arborists are members of the International Society of Arboriculture and the Indiana Arborist Association.

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