Proper Tree Pruning in South Florida

Tree Pruning in South Florida

Trees in South Florida should be pruned for the first time 2 to 5 years after planting, then every 1 to 3 years thereafter, depending on the type of tree. Keep in mind, most trees in South Florida have shallow roots so allowing this time to root is very important.

Proper Pruning Cuts

For proper pruning technique, you must make a cut at the branch collar. The branch collar is where the branch joins the main trunk. Cutting into the branch collar reduces the chance of decay to expand into the main trunk of the tree.

Always wear protective gloves and eye wear before starting any tree trimming and use sharp tools designed specially for pruning. Homeowners should never climb a tree to prune limbs or attempt to prune limbs near any power lines.


Pruning of trees prior to storms and hurricanes

Prune for strength

Prune to strengthen the tree by removing leaders and multi-trunks to encourage the growth of one main single "central" leader or trunk. Remove any injured or diseased limbs or branches.

Prune for form

Prune to form the tree by removing excess lateral branches to produce a ladder effect at maturity.


Topping or hatracking is a type of pruning where most of the canopy is removed from a tree, leaving mostly branch stubs. Topping initiates decay in the trunk and main branches and attracts wood boring insects. Never top a tree or allow anyone to top one of your trees. Topping is equivalent to butchering a tree. Competent arborists do not top trees.

Excessive Lifting

Excessive lifting is a common pruning practice where all the lower branches of the tree are removed to provide clearance for cars, structures, etc. Over lifting, or excessive thinning of trees is a poor pruning practice. This type of pruning causes trees to be top heavy, reduces trunk taper and increases the chances of branch failure. It also disfigures the natural form of the trees.

Choosing a Tree Service/Arborist

Homeowners who rush to accept the service of a tree expert are frequently taken advantage of by fly-by-night amateurs who commonly consist of a pickup truck and a chainsaw. The result of this is poor quality work, and greater long term costs, especially if something is damaged or someone gets hurt.

The best option is to choose a Palm Beach County Licensed tree care professional. The arborist (tree care professional) you will want to hire should:

  • Have a Palm Beach County occupational license as well as a sub-city license if required and is a bonafide business in the community (Ask for proof)
  • Should be listed on google, yelp or in the telephone directory "Yellow Pages" and have good reviews.
  • Be fully insured for property damage, and personal liability (Ask for Proof)

To see if a company is active in Palm Beach County. Visit and search the company name. It is also smart to get 3 estimates before making your decision.

Contact SaveMore Tree Service today to come out and give you a free estimate!


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