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beautiful edmonton home with a large tree and pretty garden landscape

In a forest, trees grow straight up as they compete with surrounding plant life for sunlight. The trees on your property, however, likely have much more access to sunlight all around the crown.

This encourages the development of multiple leaders and crowded branches. To prevent these structural defects, structural pruning is required.


The purpose of structural pruning is to replicate the strong, natural structure of trees that grow in the forest. It begins with the removal of competing leaders to promote the development of a single, dominant leader. Structural pruning also involves creating sufficient space between the main limbs along the trunk and keeping the size of branches proportional to the stem.


Here are the three main ways structural pruning is beneficial:

1. It makes trees safer. Certain species such as maple, elm and ash are particularly prone to developing structural defects when outside of a forest environment. The presence of multiple leaders and large, lower branches in close proximity to one another weakens a tree’s overall structure. This makes the branches more prone to breaking and increases the risk of having large cracks and splits in the trunk. Structural pruning helps protect the tree as well as the surrounding property and people.

2. It helps trees live longer. Structural pruning is typically performed every few years in order to help trees maintain their natural shape. In young trees, it promotes proper development and ensures a stable shape. Since trees with a single dominant leader tend to remain healthier for longer, structural pruning typically increases a tree’s lifespan. Trees with a single dominant leader are also better equipped to delay the spread of decay through their limbs.

3. It makes trees more resilient. While it’s easier and cheaper to prune a young tree, large mature trees that have developed structural defects can also benefit from this type of strategic pruning. In particular, reducing the density of the crown can help improve a tree’s stability and make it more resilient to heavy rains and high winds. This prevents a situation where supportive measures like bracing and cabling are required.


At All Season Tree Service, we have the knowledge and experience to ensure your trees are healthy, beautiful and safe. We offer a wide range of arborist services including pruning, shaping, bracing, stump grinding and tree removal. We’re proud to serve clients in Edmonton and surrounding communities. Contact us today to request a free estimate.


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