Street Tree Pruning
Why prune street trees?
- There are several reasons street trees are pruned. One of the most important reason is public safety, including maintaining clearance over sidewalks and roadways.
- In addition, pruning is done to improve a tree’s structural stability. This lessens the impact seasonal storms have on structurally unsound branches as well as increases the tree’s longevity.
- Long-term maintenance and costs are reduced when pruning is done to young trees. Corrective pruning alleviates many problems early and allows for a more stable and aesthetically pleasing tree.
The City of Dublin adopts two industry standards when pruning. Arborists contracted by the City also follow these standards.
- American National Standards Institute A-300 Pruning Standards
- International Society of Arboriculture – Best Management Practices for Tree Pruning
When to prune street trees?
- Trees can be pruned almost any time of the year, but the most appropriate time to prune most trees is the dormant season from late fall to early spring. This puts the trees at the least amount of risk and reduces the level of stress put on the trees. Light pruning in the summertime can be done to achieve immediate needs such as clearance or safety. The removal of dead branches can occur at any time of the year. The city attempts to focus the majority of its pruning during the dormant season, but will prune trees throughout the year in order to meet pruning objectives.
Who is responsible for pruning City-owned street trees?
The City of Dublin’s Forestry staff maintains and prunes all City-owned trees. We ask residents not to prune the trees in front of their home, but contact the City Forester for a pruning request at 614.410.4701 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Which trees are owned by the City?
- City-owned trees are those trees growing within the public right-of-way. Most trees are in the area of land between the street and the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, the City-owned trees may be planted approximately 4 feet off of the curb.
How often are the street trees pruned?
- Street trees are pruned on a 3- to 5-year cycle. Certain species, such as honeylocust and elm, may be need to be pruned every 1 to 2 years because of their vigorous growth rates. The goal is to prune every street tree in the City of Dublin at least once every 5 years.
How much is removed at any one pruning?
- Industry states that the maximum that should be removed during a pruning cycle is 25% to 30% of the foliage. This amount is not removed for every tree pruned.
Should wound dressings be used?
- It is not recommended that any wound dressings be used. In the past, the benefits of “pruning paints” were widely touted. Research has shown that paints offer little, if any, positive contribution. In several studies, paints have been shown to be harmful to the trees. In some species, the presence of the paint slows wound closure.
Can my tree be topped?
- The arboriculture industry does not promote tree topping as a maintenance tool. The City of Dublin’s street tree ordinance prohibits this practice. This is in compliance with the International Society of Arboriculture and the ANSI A300 Standards.