Thinning The Tree vs Raising The Canopy

Thinning the process of selective removal of live branches mainly at the outer canopy, which are crossing or duplicating, to increase light penetration and air movement throughout the tree. Thinning also reduces the wind-sail effect and the weight of heavy limbs. Mature trees should have no more than one-third of live foliage removed when thinned. Thinning is also very beneficial to the health of the surrounding trees, shrubs, or lawn by allowing more air movement and sunlight penetration.
Raising a canopy or tree crown is the most common form of tree pruning. When canopy raising is done it is important to provide specifics to the arborist as to what clearance, or height to remove to. Canopy raising should also be done slowly as the tree grows, starting when the tree is young, until it reaches maturity. Raising the canopy on a large mature tree can be very stressful on the tree and create such large wounds that the tree may never be able to heal properly. Finally with canopy raising, there should be a clear objective in where, or what, the lowest permanent branch will be on the tree. On young trees, this may be a small branch 20 feet off the ground, but once it’s defined- a plan can be created in order to slowly prune to meet that height over time as the tree grows.

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