Not all trees need trimming to the same degree, but all trees require some amount of regular pruning. In the forest, trees shed their branches naturally due to shading. When trees are "open grown" in parks and on streets we must carry out the trimming process.
In Town parks, trees are trimmed to remove deadwood, to allow parks equipment to maneuver under them, to reduce the severity of insect and disease attack and to keep branches above the hands of vandals.
Street trees, on the other hand, must be trimmed to clear wires, and to allow a 14-foot height over roadways so that delivery vans and other vehicles can move easily. We must also remove deadwood, suckers and crossover branches to allow the free flow of air through the tree to reduce insect and disease attack.
For efficiency, trees are usually trimmed along an entire street. This keeps costs down and allows the maximum number of trees to be trimmed in the available time.
Over time, if the tree wasn't trimmed, it would mature and limbs would break off in an irregular fashion, creating decay and eventual death. These broken and decayed branches could become hazards.
For an in-depth overview on tree pruning, please see the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) website.
If you feel your tree requires some type of maintenance, please contact our Public Works at 519-485-0120 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for an inspection and follow-up. Please note, requests will be responded to in a priority sequence.
Tree topping and why it is harmful
Topping is the indiscriminate cutting of tree branches to reduce the size of a tree. Tree topping is not a viable method of height reduction. Topping often removes 50 to 100 per cent of the leaf-bearing crown of a tree, destroying its natural form. Removing branches can temporarily starve a tree and it will use a drastic survival method that forces rapid growth of leaves below each cut that actually cause the tree to grow more quickly. This rapid growth depletes the tree’s energy reserves and makes it vulnerable to disease and insect infestation. Tree topping is not considered best practice and there are alternatives to curb growth and preserve the natural beauty of the tree.
Different trees flourish in different types of soil. Be sure to research what type of soil you are planting in to ensure a better chance of survival. Location can also be important to a tree's survival. For example, if you are planting a tree that requires full sunlight, do not plant it in a shady area. For more detailed instructions, tips and hints please use the following link to the International Society of Arboriculture