Other Pruning Types


Restoration Pruning

Restoration Pruning is performed to improve the structure, form, and appearance of trees that have been severely headed, vandalized, or storm damaged. The intent is to reestablish apical dominance or a central leader over time. Normally this occurs over a number of successive prunings.

Crown Reduction

Crown Reduction (Perimeter Reduction) is used to reduce the size of a tree. This practice is best accomplished by cutting branches back to the trunk or back to laterals capable of sustaining the remaining branch and assuming apical dominance.

Crown Thinning

Crown Thinning is the removal of lateral branches with the intent to provide better air circulation and light penetration and also the reduction of excessive end weighted scaffolding branches.


Espalier is a combination of cutting and training branches that are oriented in one plane, usually supported on a wall, fence or trellis.


Pollarding is a training system that involves severe heading the first year, and sprout removal annually or every few years to keep large growing trees to a modest size or to maintain a formal appearance. The pollarding process should be started when the tree is young. Pollarding is a labor intensive technique and may not be effective on every species of tree.

Structural Pruning

Structural Pruning is pruning that influences tree orientation, spacing, growth rate, strength of attachments and ultimate size of the branches.

Vista Pruning

Vista Pruning is selective removal or reduction of branches in the tree’s crown to allow a specific view of an object from a predetermined point.

What About Topping?

Topping or heading back is not recommended due to the following: it leads to tree stress, decay, sun scald, creates hazards from weakly attached shoots, and is unsightly and is expensive due to maintenance.  For more information on the harmful effects of Topping, please use the following resource at the International Association of Arboriculture website’s applicable link about Topping .