To prune or not to prune trees in the city?

The answer to this question depends on several factors, including the type of trees in the city, their age, their health, and your goals.

Overall, pruning trees can be beneficial to their health and longevity. It can help remove dead or diseased branches, improve air and sunlight circulation, and reduce the risk of branch breakage due to wind or snow. It can also be useful in controlling the growth and shape of the tree, and in improving its aesthetic appearance.

However, excessive pruning can be harmful to trees. It can weaken them, make them more susceptible to pests and diseases, and reduce their flower and fruit production. Therefore, it is important to prune trees sparingly and only when necessary.

In some cases, tree pruning may be necessary for safety reasons. For example, if a tree is growing too close to a power line, it may be necessary to prune the branches to prevent a short circuit. Trees that are growing too close to buildings or roads may also need to be pruned to prevent damage.

General guidelines for pruning trees in the city

  • The best time to prune trees is during the winter, when they are dormant. This gives them time to recover before spring.
  • Use sharp, clean tools to avoid damaging the tree.
  • Cut branches close to the trunk of the tree, at a 45-degree angle.
  • Do not cut more than 25% of the tree's crown in a single pruning.

More about pruning details:

1) The cuts must be vertical so that rain and environmental pollution do not penetrate through the stumps, making the tree sick.
2) Remove the entire branches without tearing them.
3) Before cutting the branch, it is advisable to section the bark from below so that when removing the branch it does not tear part of the trunk.
4) If the branch is very thick or heavy, cut it into pieces. Starting at the tip. These branches will be cut only if the tree has others of equal size that maintain the balance of the specimen.
5) Eliminate only those branches and tips that are necessary.
6) Do not prune branches that form a roof, but do so with very low ones that disturb the passage of pedestrians or vehicles.
7) It is not necessary to cut down a tree when its roots raise the sidewalk. You can cut only the root that is bothering parallel to the trunk and then prune the branches so that the tree maintains its balance.
8) In the case of wiring and luminaires, it is not necessary to prune all the foliage; only the branches that expand the cone of light or those necessary to produce the "tunnel effect" that allow the passage of overhead wiring will be cut.
9) Depending on the size of the branches, manual pruning scissors will be used, followed by saws with special teeth and finally chainsaws. The ax and the machete must be banished when doing correct pruning!!!

Let us remember that the tree is a living being and as such deserves our respect.

If you are unsure how to prune a tree, it is best to consult a certified arborist. An arborist can evaluate the condition of the tree and recommend the best pruning plan.

The expert Susana Papale tells us what usually happens with trees in the city

Modern culture reduced the tree to an ornamental element, underestimating its value as a basic necessity.

Educating about the importance of the tree for life is an obligation when we see that cement increasingly isolates man from nature. The landscape has been erased and what is worse, our contact with the earth has been erased.

Within this panorama, the tree became something annoying that can be cut down at random in pursuit of poorly understood progress. In reality, he is a silent friend who generously gives us everything he has, containment, freshness, purity, life lesson, without asking for any retribution.

Who owns the trees in the city?

The sidewalk trees are part of the public good of a municipality, therefore their care is a shared responsibility between the front owners and the municipality.

Fronters can contribute to the care of sidewalk trees in several ways. For example, they can:

  • Report any damage or disease to trees to municipal authorities.
  • Assist municipal workers in pruning or removing trees.
  • Plant trees in your gardens or front yards.

The municipality can also contribute to the care of the sidewalk trees in several ways. For example, you can:

  • Carry out pruning and maintenance of trees on a regular basis.
  • Plant new trees in areas that need them.
  • Educate fronters about the importance of taking care of trees.

By working together, fronters and the municipality can help preserve sidewalk trees, which are an essential part of urban environments.

Remember you should not prune a tree simply because:

The leaves cover the drains, so as not to sweep the sidewalk, so that the tree grows stronger and healthier, it is neater, to see the sign or the window better, it is too big or too old or because of the habit of having to prune them .

Sidewalk trees provide many benefits to cities

  • They reduce urban heat.
  • They improve air quality.
  • They provide shade and shelter for wildlife.
  • They increase property values.

Therefore, it is important that we all work together to protect them.

The planet needs its trees, as an essential element that guarantees life.