Tree PruningREC's tree pruning practices conform to the procedures set forth by the American National Standards Institute. These standards require the use of "directional" and "natural pruning " methods (endorsed by the Tree Care Industry Association, the National Arbor Day Foundation, and the International Society of Arboriculture).
Natural pruning is the practice of pruning branches back to a natural point of growth in the crown of the tree. Natural pruning is healthier than tree topping, which is the indiscriminate cutting back of tree branches to reduce the size of the tree crown. Although topping generally leaves the tree with a more balanced appearance, the International Society of Arboriculture calls topping "perhaps the most harmful pruning practice known." Topping stresses trees, makes them more vulnerable to insect and disease infections, and leads to decay. By planting trees and shrubs away from power lines, you can help eliminate the need for pruning in the future.
Directional pruning removes only those branches that conflict with the power lines. Instead of cutting the limbs back to unnatural stubs, branches are pruned back to the trunk or parent branch where trees normally shed them. V-pruning and side pruning are the two main variations of directional pruning. Trees may look a bit different after directional pruning.