Edmonton Tree Trimming & Pruning


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Trees are the unsung heroes of our cities, working tirelessly to keep us cool, freshen our air, and make our neighborhoods beautiful. Yet, they’re like fish out of water in our concrete jungles. Just as we wouldn’t adopt a puppy without understanding its needs, we owe it to our urban trees to learn how to support their well-being.

Read our article on when and why to prune trees here.


A properly pruned tree will be:

  • More disease resistant
    • Since many fungi and pathogens thrive in a dark, anaerobic environment; maintaining healthy air and light circulation in the canopy is critical.
  • Produce better fruits/flowers
    • Without the forest environment putting constructive restraints on a trees canopy, it tends to get over corroded and redundant. Since the tree has limited resources, this results in an abundance of subpar fruit and vegetation.
  • Be aesthetically pleasing
    • We’ve all seen the neglected trees that look more suitable for a spooky movie set than an urban landscape.
  • Stability/ Safety 
    • An urban tree with no environmental constraints tends to grow unstable horizontal limbs. These heavy limbs are prone to breaking off and tearing a section of the tree with them. This damage is can often be fatal and irreversible. These issue is multiplied for fruiting trees since the heavy fruit loads ad considerable extra strain.
  • Live Longer
    • A happy healthy tree can grace your landscape for generations.
  • Grow cohesively into its environment without interference with structures and walking areas.
    • A skilled arborist is able to ensure a tree doesn’t damage itself or other property through progressive and strategic branch training.

The Goal

  • Selectively thin the canopy to allow light and air to circulate freely through.
    • Nature uses decomposing organisms to recycle redundant, unproductive growth. Since a forest tree isn’t typically able to overcrowd, this mechanism turns against the tree in an urban environment, often spreading to healthy and vital parts of the tree.
    • This process also allows for better overall growth and vigour.  
  • Remove any dead or problem growth
    • In nature, trees “self prune” dead or unwanted branches. In an urban environment not only can this pose a significant hazard, but like most things in a forest, it is carried out on a time scale that is somewhat impractical by city standards..
    • Dead branches also attract pests and invite decay into the healthy parts of the tree.
  • Train the trees structure away from walking areas and other property.
    • Much like training a puppy; proper and effective tree training is started early in the life of the tree. This allows the knowegable pruning professional, to work with the natural structure of the tree, and form it into a suitable shape while being minimally invasive.
  • Shape for aesthetics 


Things to remember when pruning:

  • WHY- Urban trees can get unruly. Without the restraint provided by a forest environment, urban trees tend to grow unnaturally and unsustainably.
  • WHEN- Heavy trims should be done in late fall and winter when the plant is dormant. Light trims and safety trims can be implemented year-round.
  • ELMS- Edmonton law dictates elms can be pruned between Oct 1 – March 31. Full removals, including the stump, can be carried out year-round.
  • HOW- typically, the goal when pruning is to eliminate unwanted growth. This includes; branches that cross or run, water sprouts/suckers, excessive lateral growth, deadwood, unstable limbs.
  • ISA industry standards specify that no more than 1/4 of a trees canopy should be removed in one growth season, and leaving the “occasional 1/2″ dead or problem branch” where its impractical to remove, is permissible.