Pruning of trees should always be done with a purpose in mind. The purposes for pruning are varied. Some pruning is done to change or train a plants growing pattern or to restrict growth. Other forms of pruning may be required to maintain or improve plant health or the quality of flowers , fruit and foliage.
The appropriate amount of pruning of live tissue from a tree will depend on the size, species and age of a tree as well as the pruning objective.
Pruning of young trees
Proper pruning is essential in developing a tree with a strong structure and desirable form. Trees that receive the appropriate pruning measures while they are young will require little corrective pruning when they mature.
When pruning a young tree it is important to note that each cut has the potential to change the growth of that tree. Proper knowledge and pruning technique is essential, poor pruning can cause damage that will last for the life of the tree or even shorten the life of the tree.
Pruning of Mature Trees
As stated previously pruning should always be done with a purpose. The various reasons you may consider pruning a mature tree include the following:
The removal of dead, dying, diseased, crowded, weakly attached and low vigor branches from the trees crown.
The selective removal of branches to increases light penetration and air movement throughout the crown. Thinning opens the foliage of a tree, reduces weight on heavy limbs and helps to retain the trees natural shape.
The removal of the lower branches from a tree in order to provide clearance for buildings, vehicles, pedestrians and vistas.
Reduces the size of a tree. This type of pruning may be necessary to reduce the height or spread of a tree and is best accomplished by pruning back leaders or branches to lateral branches that are large enough to assume the terminal role. When properly done crown reduction will help to maintain the form and structural integrity of a tree.