Tree Training and Pruning


In the forest, the competition for light between trees leads to the natural pruning or branches. In inhabited areas, trees are generally more exposed to sunlight and the natural pruning phenomenon is inhibited.

An overabundance of branches often becomes a long-term issue since they will hinder each other’s growth and those loosely attached will continue to grow and become heavier. This phenomenon is particularly common among exotic species abundantly available in nurseries, including small-leaved linden (Tilia cordata) and Norway maple (Acer platanoides). Without maintenance, these trees develop a poor structure. This poor structure represents a growing threat to their longevity and sometimes even public safety. Such structural defects are identified by the arrangement of branches on the main stem, the presence of so-called included bark in sidings and distribution of foliage between the various limbs. These structural defects are difficult and expensive to correct once the tree has reached maturity, but surprisingly easy to fix when trees are small.


Antidote Arboriculture offers tree training services. This is a type of pruning practiced on young trees to encourage the development of good structure. It is estimated that only a few dollars invested at the right times (when the tree is still a juvenile) can save hundreds of dollars in maintenance at maturity in addition to extending the useful life of our ornamental trees.