A300 Pruning standards recognize, but are not limited to, the following pruning objectives:
Develop structure, such as to: Improve branch and trunk architecture Promote or subordinate certain leaders, stems, or branches; Promote desirable branch spacing; Promote or discourage growth in a particular direction (directional pruning); Minimize future interference with traffic, lines of sight, or infrastructure, or other plants; Restore plants following damage; and/or, Rejuvenate shrubs.
Provide clearance, such as to: Ensure safe and reliable utility services; Minimize current interference with traffic, lines of sight, infrastructure, or other plants; Raise crown(s) for movement of traffic or light penetration; Ensure lines-of-sight or desired views; Provide access to sites, buildings, or other structures; and/or, Comply with regulations.
Manage size or shape
Manage production of fruit, flowers, or other products
Manage wildlife habitat
Certain pruning practices are not acceptable and can injure trees:
Topping: The reduction of a tree’s size using heading cuts that shorten limbs or branches back to a predetermined crown limit.
Lion’s Tailing: The removal of an excessive number of inner, lateral branches from parent branches.
Rooster-Tailing: The over-thinning of palms, usually by removing too many lower, live fronds.