Be wary of individuals or companies recommending poor tree pruning practices. Some examples of poor pruning are shown in the illustration below.
Poor Pruning Practices
Such practices put tree(s) under stress, compromise the structure and/or artificially raise the trees’ center of gravity during a storm. When selecting an arborist, be sure to ask for a copy of the company’s general liability insurance, current International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) credential, worker’s compensation insurance and to see the company’s Broward County Tree Trimmer License. Companies that do not have insurance or are not registered as a Broward County Tree Trimmer should be actively avoided.
It is recommended to have your trees inspected by an ISA certified arborist annually and, if no defects are found, pruning may not be required . If your tree or palm needs pruning, the proper tree pruning practices will likely be followed. It is important to note that all branches and debris should be properly disposed of after pruning because any debris left lying around can become airborne during a windstorm event.
Proper Tree Pruning Practices
- Avoid removing any live fronds originating above the horizontal plane
- Remove dead, dying, or diseased fronds
- Fruits and coconuts can also be removed
Shade Tree Trimming
- Pruning should emphasize branch reduction rather than removal for healthy trees
- Prune young trees every 3 to 4 years to produce strong branch structure; mature trees every 4-5 years
- Prune to produce a single dominant trunk
- Remove dead, diseased, broken and cross branches
- Correct unbalanced tree canopies by pruning long branches back to lateral branches
- Remove, or reduce the weight on branches with included bark (i.e., bark trapped in the tight angle between two branches growing closely together).
Steps for a proper tree pruning cutDo not attempt to prune trees or palms adjacent to overhead utility lines by yourself. Contact FPL or utilize an ISA certified arborist qualified to perform utility line clearance pruning.
It is generally too late to prune your trees once a storm is on its way, so contact an ISA certified arborist well in advance of hurricane season. For additional information concerning proper palm and tree care please visit the following websites: