Pruning & Trimming

Making your trees safe, healthy, and beautiful.

Serving all of South Florida

Broward County

Palm Beach County

Miami-Dade County

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    Pruning & Trimming That Ensures the Health of Your Trees

    Regular pruning is essential to the health of your trees and provides a safer environment, especially in preparation for a storm. There is no right or wrong time to trim and maintain trees in South Florida - pruning can be done all year. Palm trimming and tree pruning by our qualified professionals can ensure that your trees grow beautiful, healthy, and strong throughout the year. We are experts in the proper pruning for all varieties of trees, since each has its own particular requirements.

    Our ISA-Certified Arborists and tree care experts are trained to analyze the condition of your trees and determine the type(s) of pruning required to balance your goals and those of managing the tree's health and safety. We will never prune a tree in a way that may be detrimental to its structural integrity or health.


    Our Pruning Services

    Crown reduction

    Canopy restoration

    Corrective pruning

    Palm tree maintenance

    Code compliance

    Hedge reduction

    Root pruning & root barriers

    Storm damage pruning

    Large limb removal

    Formative pruning for young trees

    Tree safety

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    Types of Tree Pruning

    Healthy trees, palms, shrubs, and turf are better able to withstand pest attacks, infections, and weather stress. By providing the right nutrients and growing conditions, we'll keep your plants healthy.

    diagram of tree before pruning
    Typical unpruned tree showing broken branches, watersprouts, excessive growth, poorly-placed branches, etc.
    Tree Pruning Diagram - Crown Cleaning

    Crown Cleaning

    This widely-used term in the tree care industry includes pruning out dead or dying, broken, diseased or unhealthy, and crossing branches. Pine trees and palms in Florida routinely need crown cleaning.

    Tree Pruning Diagram - Crown Reduction

    Crown Reduction

    Although reduction pruning involves reducing the size of a tree, it is NOT the same as tree topping!

    Proper crown reduction is done by pruning all primary limbs and leaders in the outer canopy back to secondary limbs that are large enough (at least 1/3 the diameter of the cut branch) to form the new canopy edges and become the primary leader for limbs that were reduced.

    The canopy size is generally reduced by ¼ to ⅓ (height and width), depending on the type of tree, while maintaining the structural integrity and overall appearance of the tree.

    diagram of tree before pruning
    Typical unpruned tree showing broken branches, watersprouts, excessive growth, poorly-placed branches, etc.
    Tree Pruning Diagram - Crown Raising

    Crown Raising or Elevating

    This type of pruning typically removes the lower branches from a tree to provide clearance for buildings, vehicles and pedestrians. It also includes reducing the spread of a tree to provide additional lateral clearance to buildings.

    Tree Pruning Diagram - Crown Thinning

    Crown Thinning

    Many varieties of trees grown in south Florida are prone to developing thick and heavy canopies. Crown thinning involves selectively removing branches to lighten the weight of heavy branches and open the canopy to improve light penetration and air movement. Done properly, it improves the tree's overall structure and keeps its natural shape.

    Thinning does NOT mean removing branches from the interior of the tree; instead, pruning is focused on the outer parts of the canopy (toward the branch ends).


    Structural Pruning

    This type of tree pruning is done from an engineering perspective. Trees don't fail in storm events (such as hurricanes) solely because they are too big or too tall; in many cases, they fail because the canopy is not able to dissipate wind energy effectively. Structural pruning deals with this critical issue. Some branches that would be pruned under this guideline include:

    • Weakly attached branches, including those with narrow crotch angles and co-dominant stems with included bark.
    • Crossing and intertwined branches.
    • Branches spaced too close together on the main trunk.
    • Watersprouts and growth arising from past topping cuts.

    Our crews are trained to recognize these weak branches while taking into account the tree's natural tendencies in order to make pruning cuts that will best maximize each tree's unique structure.

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    Why Prune Your Trees?

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      Improve Appearance

      Pruning affects the appearance of a tree. By cutting off dead limbs or removing sections of the tree that are growing faster than others, you're giving your tree a whole new look.

      Basically, it's like a haircut for your tree. Good grooming is beneficial to trees, since it enhances the shape of the tree. This is especially important for trees that you've planted for the sole purpose of adding aesthetic appeal.

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      Create a Stronger Tree

      That juniper tree in your yard will be able to withstand harsh weather better after it has been pruned. When a professional tree service uses the proper technique, tree pruning has the ability to make the roots stronger, which ultimately means that the tree is healthier and can hold up better in a storm. Moreover, pruning can help the new branches to grow.

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      Produce More Fruit

      Any type of tree that produces fruit benefits from pruning. By removing dead limbs, you're promoting better health in the tree, since dead wood makes the tree more susceptible to insect infestation and disease.

      Additionally, pruning a fruit tree you may have encourages the growth of spurs, which will produce fruit the following year. Ultimately, pruning promotes an increase in fruit production.

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      By far, this is the most imperative reason to hire someone to prune your tree. The dead branches fall very easily during high winds or a severe storm. Even when weather conditions are ideal, these branches may fall. Other hazardous branches include ones hanging over the roof of your home and ones growing into electric lines.

      Additionally, cracks in the tree, decay, cankers and poor root growth are all able to cause safety issues.

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      Treat Diseases

      Just like human beings, trees may contract disease. Through pruning, the disease may be treated and prevented from spreading. Therefore, pruning not only prevents disease, it also helps treat it.

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      Improve Your View

      Vista pruning is a term that describes a type of pruning used for the purpose of enhancing a view of a valley, lake or other natural structure. Hiring someone for vista pruning entails removal of trees and branches that block the view of these naturally occurring splendors.

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      Create More Space

      Whether it's to make room for new construction or remove branches that are obstructing traffic or pedestrians, proper pruning can help you create more space without damaging the health or longevity of the tree.

    Risk Increases Without Regular Pruning

    There are several consequences of not conducting a regular pruning program. These include:

    • increased risk of failure, especially during hurricanes
    • development of low limbs that block traffic and passersby
    • development of co-dominant stems (this is a structurally weak form that's prone to splitting apart)
    • defects, such as included bark that develops where branches emerge from the tree trunk (it makes the branch attachment weaker and more likely to break)
    • dead branches that can fall without warning
    • obstructed views

    Call Today for a Free Pruning or Trimming Estimate

    We provide pruning services throughout South Florida.

    Why Sherlock Tree Company?

    Punctual & Reliable

    Responsive & Flexible

    Experienced Professionals

    Safe & Efficient

    General Liability & Workers Compensation Insurance

    ISA Certified Arborists

    Work is done to ANSI A300 Pruning Standards

    Certified Treecare Safety Professional (CTSP)

    Accredited by the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA)

    Broward County Tree Trimmer License (No. A-1205)

    The Sherlock Approach to Tree Pruning

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      Safety Always Comes First

      Pruning may seem simple, but it's not! Often, our crews must climb a tree to trim or prune fronds or branches. Cut branches must be carefully dropped or lowered safely to the ground without harming people, structures, or landscaping below. Our certified arborists are highly trained to safely and efficiently prune trees of all types and sizes, and all work is monitored by a Certified Treecare Safety Professional (CTSP).

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      Use Industry Best Practices

      The tree care industry has specified best practices for pruning in the ANSI A300 Pruning Standards. These standards are meant to preserve the health and beauty of your trees while minimizing safety risks to workers and reducing the possibility of the tree becoming a safety hazard.

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      Consider the tree's health

      Trees are living organisms that continuously change over time. Professional pruning always takes into consideration how pruning cuts will affect the tree's health and longevity, as well as appearance and safety. Improper pruning can ruin a tree's aesthetic appeal, compromise its health, and even lead to its decline and death. That's why we don't use poor tree cutting methods like "topping" or "hatracking" when pruning a tree.

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    FAQs About Tree Pruning

    What You Need to Know

    If you're thinking about getting your trees pruned, you probably have some questions about the timing, process, and more. Below are answers to the questions we're most often asked but if you have a different question, just give us a call!

    Often, you'll know when it's time to prune a tree.

    For example, it may have an unattractive shape, branches may be hitting your roof, or low branches could be blocking your view or obstructing traffic and pedestrians.

    Perhaps you're seeing deadwood throughout the tree, or broken or hanging branches that pose a safety risk.

    Any time you think there may be a safety hazard, call an arborist for a tree inspection. Safety is always a good reason to prune a tree!

    For more details, see Why Prune a Tree?


    Most palm trees should be trimmed every year. Some, such as coconut palms, benefit from more frequent pruning.

    Hardwood trees should be inspected every year by a qualified arborist to see if they need any trimming. Large canopy trees generally need to be pruned every 2 to 3 years but an annual evaluation will allow you to quickly address any problems between major prunings.

    Storm events may also cause damage that needs to be addressed immediately. 

    And, of course, if you see anything that doesn't look safe, have your tree pruned before hurricane season arrives.

    We prefer to meet with you prior to starting work to make sure we all agree on exactly what's being done and the expected outcome. Plus, we love meeting our customers! 

    However, if you've already had a good conversation with our arborist and are not able to be present while work is being done, we can proceed with pruning work with your approval.

    The moderate climate in South Florida means that trees grow all year long. Trees can be pruned at any time of year.

    We do not top trees. Also called "hatracking", this process of cutting trees to make them shorter is not only harmful to the trees, but it's also illegal in most cities throughout South Florida.

    Yes, the proper type of pruning can reduce the risk of damage from strong winds, such as during a hurricane.

    >> Learn more about pruning to prevent hurricane damage

    Yes. Not only does pruning help your trees live a longer and more healthy life, it also improves your property's curb appeal and increases your property value.

    Pruning is essentially guiding young and medium-aged trees to develop good branch architecture. This reduces the chance of failure, especially when nature gets nasty. 

    The type and size of power line, as well as proximity to the pruning we'll be doing, dictate how we will approach performing the work. Any job that involves pruning near a power line requires a thorough inspection by one of our experienced arborists. If necessary, we'll coordinate with the local power company to disconnect power to the line(s) in or near your tree.

    Safety is always our first consideration when working near power lines so we take extra care to ensure our crews are safe. This might mean that scheduling your pruning job will be delayed while we make proper arrangements with the power company.

    Call Our Tree Pruning Experts Today

    From palm trimming to hurricane prevention pruning and structural pruning of large or hazardous trees, your trees are in good hands with Sherlock Tree!