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The Research Foundation to Tree Pruning: A Review of the Literature

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  • HortScience, Inc.
  • HortScience, Inc.

Abstract and Figures

Two hundred one research publications including 152 journal articles were compiled. Forty-four journals were represent-ed with the Journal of Arboriculture, Arboricultural & Urban Forestry, and Arboricultural Journal as the most frequently cited. Com-partmentalization, wounding, wound response, decay development, and wound treatment were the most frequently noted topic areas. The bibliography was organized in Zotero, an application using the Firefox web browser. Keywords were identi-fied for each publication. Where either the article or its abstract was available, an annotation was created. This pa-per describes the major topic areas identified in the review and discusses the future directions for pruning research. Pruning is at the heart of arboriculture, one of the most impor-tant services arborists provide. To paraphrase Alex Shigo (1989), pruning can be one of the best things an arborist can do for a tree and one of the worse things an arborist can do to a tree. Pruning impacts both tree health and structure. It is practiced worldwide. In 2007, the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) contracted HortScience, Inc. to prepare a literature review on the topic of pruning. The focus of the review was the research literature. The emphasis was on arboriculture but the review could reference forestry and pomology literature as appropriate.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Clark and Matheny: The Research Foundation to Tree Pruning
©2010 International Society of Arboriculture
110
The Research Foundation to Tree Pruning:
A Review of the Literature
Arboriculture & Urban Forestry 2010. 36(3): 110–120
James R. Clark and Nelda Matheny
Abstract. Two hundred one research publications including 152 journal articles were compiled. Forty-four journals were represent-
ed with the Journal of Arboriculture, Arboricultural & Urban Forestry, and Arboricultural Journal as the most frequently cited. Com-
partmentalization, wounding, wound response, decay development, and wound treatment were the most frequently noted topic areas.
The bibliography was organized in Zotero, an application using the Firefox web browser. Keywords were identi-
fied for each publication. Where either the article or its abstract was available, an annotation was created. This pa-
per describes the major topic areas identified in the review and discusses the future directions for pruning research.
Key Words: Tree Pruning; Literature Review.
Pruning is at the heart of arboriculture, one of the most impor-
tant services arborists provide. To paraphrase Alex Shigo (1989),
pruning can be one of the best things an arborist can do for a tree
and one of the worse things an arborist can do to a tree. Pruning
impacts both tree health and structure. It is practiced worldwide.
In 2007, the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA)
contracted HortScience, Inc. to prepare a literature review on
the topic of pruning. The focus of the review was the research
literature. The emphasis was on arboriculture but the review
could reference forestry and pomology literature as appropriate.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
In developing the review, the authors focused on peer-reviewed
sources, particularly scientific journals. The process was ini-
tiated by compiling references from standard industry refer-
ences such as Gilman’s Illustrated Guide to Pruning (2nd edi-
tion, 2002), and Arboriculture (Harris et al. 2004). The authors
also relied on O’Hara’s review of the forestry literature dealing
with pruning and wounding (2007). The online archive of the
Journal of Arboriculture and Arboriculture & Urban Forestry
were searched for titles containing the word “pruning.” There
were 42 citations, some of which appeared prior to 1990—a
period when articles in the Journal of Arboriculture were not
necessarily research based. Major industry standards used in
the U.S. (ANSI 2008) and Europe (British Standards Institute
1989; ZTV-Baumpflege 2001; European Arboricultural Council
2008) were then reviewed as well as their supporting publica-
tions (Gilman and Lilly 2002; Kempter 2004; Lonsdale 2008).
ISA specifically requested an effort to access literature from
non-English sources. Literature from outside North America
was queried in several ways. First, two English-language jour-
nals published in Europe, the Arboricultural Journal (Arbo-
ricultural Association, UK) and Urban Forestry and Urban
Greening (Springer) were reviewed. This approach yielded
good results with Schwarze et al. (2007) and Dujeseifken
(2002) as examples. Second, links to non-English publica-
tions were searched. Finally, a draft of the literature review
was sent to scientists in Germany, Denmark, Italy, and France
for comment. Additional references were then incorporated.
There were limitations to this approach. First, journals
published in languages other than English were generally in-
accessible. Second, papers where pruning was not a key-
word may have been missed. Third, journals with limited ex-
posure and nonpublished dissertations were likely omitted.
Fourth, no commercial or university databases were used.
Zotero (www.zotero.org) was selected as the bibliographic
management program. The program links to Firefox’s Mozilla
web browser. For each citation, keywords (called “tags” in Zote-
ro’s lexicon) were identified. In addition, an annotation (“note” in
Zotero) was prepared (Table 1). The breadth of both keywords and
annotation was limited by access to the complete paper. Journal of
Arboriculture and Arboriculture & Urban Forestry were unique
in that the online archive was completely accessible to members
of the International Society of Arboriculture. Older issues can be
accessed without membership. Most journals, however, were not
fully accessible. In almost all cases, abstracts were used. Approxi-
mately 75% of the citations had access to the full article. In the re-
maining 25%, annotations were either very limited or not entered.
DESCRIPTION OF THE CITATIONS
Two hundred one citations were assembled. Among this group
were 20 books and 10 book sections. These had broad focus and
were included to identify general resources. For the professional
arborist, Gilman (2002) is likely to be the best reference as it
covers all aspects of the topic from young trees to mature speci-
mens, in a variety of settings. The book is also well-illustrated.
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Forest tree pruning was represented by Mayer Wegelin’s papers
(1936; 1952), the silvicultural textbook of Smith et al. (1996), and
a Hanley et al. (1995) volume on pruning of conifers. Also refer-
enced were resources written in German (Hoster 1993; Dujesiefken
1995; Pfisterer 1999; Stobbe et al. 2002a; Stobbe et al. 2002b),
and French (Drenou 1999; Austad and Hauge 2007). Palms were
referenced through Broschat and Meerow (2000). For the most
part, books were included as general references to the topic of
pruning but lacked extensive references to the scientific literature.
Journal articles comprised 152 of the 201 citations. For-
ty-four journals were referenced, published in 12 countries
(Table 2). Journal of Arboriculture (51), Arboriculture & Ur-
ban Forestry (12), and Arboricultural Journal (9) were the
most frequently referenced. Journals cited originated in Eu-
rope (25), North America (17), and the Asia-Pacific region (2).
More than half of the journals (24) were focused on for-
estry and forest science. Another 10, such as American Jour-
nal of Botany, were oriented to the traditional plant scienc-
es. Three journals were horticultural in focus; another five
were oriented to arboricultural and urban forestry. Two jour-
nals, Trees—Structure and Function and Tree Physiology,
crossed lines among forestry, arboriculture, and horticulture.
Citations arose primarily from English language journals
(113 of 201). Some journals, notably Arboriculture & Urban
Forestry, Arboricultural Journal, Canadian Journal of Botany,
Canadian Journal of Forest Research, and Journal of Arbori-
culture may provide abstracts in languages other than English.
Also included were citations in French, German, and Italian.
A small fraction of the citations had not undergone the nor-
mal peer-review process. Four citations were reports of the
USDA Forest Service, all authored by Shigo (Shigo and Lar-
son 1969; Shigo and Marx 1977; Shigo at al. 1979; Butin and
Shigo 1981). Such reports are normally reviewed by other sci-
entists within the agency. Articles in Arborist News, such as
Fraedrich and Smiley (1996) and Guggenmoos (2007), receive
technical review. The nature of the review for books, industry
standards, extension publications, conference proceedings, and
book sections was unknown. The main reason for including ma-
terial that had not been peer-reviewed was to highlight a specific
pruning topic. This will be discussed in the following section.
A list of all authors was compiled. The most frequently cited au-
thors were Alex Shigo of the United States and Dirk Dujesiefsken of
Germany. Both were noted 13 times. Authors cited with four or more
references included Ed Gilman, Jason Grabosky, Brian Kane, Dan
Neely, and Tom Smiley of the United States; Karen Barry and Eliza-
beth Pinkard of Australia; W. Liese, D. Eckstein, Francis Schwarze,
and Horst Stobbe, of Germany; and Francesco Ferrini of Italy.
MAJOR TOPICS IN PRUNING RESEARCH
Research topics were identified by the frequency with which
keywords were applied. The following discussion high-
lights a portion of the literature included in the bibliography.
The dominant theme of the literature review was wound-
ing, the tree’s response and possible treatments to affect that
response. Wounding and the tree response, to it were to-
gether noted as keywords in 30 of the 201 citations. They
were often linked to compartmentalization (24 citations), de-
cay (25), and wound dressing (10). O’Hara (2007) provided
a review of the literature on this topic, emphasizing wound
response and the goal of producing clear wood in timber.
Modern research activity in this area might begin with Shigo and
Larson’s (1969) photographic summary of the patterns of discolor-
ation and decay in hardwoods of the northeastern U.S. This report
focused on the relationship of external appearance to wood quality.
It was observational in nature, rather than founded in experimen-
tation. One finding was that covering pruning wounds with “dress-
ings” neither improved closure nor reduced the presence of decay.
In 1977, Shigo and Marx released their seminal report Com-
partmentalization of decay in trees, which introduced the CODIT
concept. Shigo et al. (1979) then reported on the relationship of
flush cuts to the development of internal decay and other defects
in black walnut (Juglans nigra). The authors noted, “When prun-
ing is done late in the life of a tree, care must be taken not to
remove the branch collars that form about the bases of dead and
dying branches.” Also in 1979, Shortle expanded on the compart-
mentalization model with very well-illustrated paper. He posed
the “heartrot” concept, describing how external wounds allow
decay fungi to enter and become established in the tree. Devel-
opment of the CODIT model culminated with two publications:
How tree branches are attached to trunks (Shigo 1985) and Com-
partmentalization: A conceptual framework for understanding
how trees grow and defend themselves (Shigo 1984). As noted
previously, the vast bulk of this work was observational in nature.
Shigo was neither the only scientist interested in tree re-
sponse to wounding nor the first to examine it. For example,
foresters have long had an interest in tree response to pruning
and wounding (McQuilkin 1950; Herring et al. 1958; O’Hara
2007). Von Aufsess (1975) noted the formation of a protective
zone at the base of branches. Neely (1970; 1979) observed that
production of callus (i.e., woundwood) at the margins of prun-
ing wounds was related to tree vigor, as measured by growth.
Research on the topic of tree wound response and its man-
agement continued through the following decades. Experiments
Table 1. Examples of annotations included in the literature
review.
Gilman, E.F., and G. Knox. 2005. Pruning type affects decay and structure
of crapemyrtle. Journal of Arboriculture 31:38–47.
Established Lagerstroemia × Natchez trees were topped, pollarded
or unpruned for four years. Topping resulted in more dead stubs and
discolored wood than pollarding which had limited decay development.
Recommended developing pollards rather than routine topping. Nice
photos. Florida US.
Neilsen, W., and E. Pinkard. 2003. Effects of green pruning on growth Pinus
radiata. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 33:2067–2073.
Crowns of 6- to 8-year-old, plantation Monterey pine were raised. Rais-
ing to 45% of tree height had no effect on growth which was reduced
with greater crown removal. Suggests maintaining a live crown ratio of
55%. Tasmania Australia.
Schwarze, F., J. Gruner, M. Schubert, and S. Fink. 2007. Defence reactions
and fungal colonization in Fraxinus excelsior and Tilia platyphyllos after
stem wounding. Arboricultural Journal 30:61–82.
Describes the anatomy of the barrier zone (= CODIT wall 4), suggesting
that differences in this zone account in part for species differences in de-
cay resistance. Strong within species variation in discoloration associated
with both increment borer holes and chain saw cuts to the stem. Also
isolated fungi from around the wounds. Excellent photos. Good discus-
sion of fungal development and tree response. Freiburg Germany.
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focusing on application of wound dressings generally found ma-
terials to be ineffective. There has been excellent work study-
ing the development of reaction and barrier zones in response
to wounding of all types. Dujesiefken et al. (1999), Barry et
al. (2000), Pearce (2000), Schwarze (2001), and Schwarze
et al. (2007) provide detailed, very well-illustrated analyses.
The question of whether to employ flush or natural tar-
get (i.e., collar) cuts has generally sided with the latter (De-
florio et al. 2007). O’Hara (2007) suggested that one type or
style of cut may not meet all management needs. Researchers
tend to agree that smaller pruning wounds are preferable to
larger ones, and pruning is most appropriate on young trees.
Research in the area of wound response has also involved ex-
aminations of branch structure and strength. Eisner et al. (2002b)
characterized the relative size of branch to stem as aspect ratio
and used this measure to assess response to pruning. Removal of
branches with aspect ratios greater than 0.39 in red maple (Acer
rubrum) and 0.59 in southern live oak (Quercus virginiana)
resulted in greater discoloration in the parent. Branches with a
more vertical orientation were more likely to have pith continuous
with the stem. Removal of limbs with this pith connection resulted
in more discoloration in the parent stem. Gilman
and Grabosky (2006) observed that as aspect ratio
increased, the amount of discoloration and decay
also increased. Another key finding was the obser-
vation that pruning can slow down the growth of
a codominant stem to the extent that a branch pro-
tection zone forms. Another facet of branch struc-
ture research has been the documentation that as
aspect ratio increases, strength decreases (Gil-
man 2003; Kane 2007; Kane and Farrell 2008).
At the current time, the Hamburg Tree Prun-
ing System (Dujesiefken and Stobbe 2002;
Dujesiefken et al. 2005a) may best represent
the evolution of research into wound response.
It is based on observations of 750 wounds on
115 mature street and park trees. The system is
based on the natural target pruning approach
and has been integrated into German standards.
Another important topic encountered in the
review was pruning around overhead utility
lines (16 citations). The topic first appeared in
the Journal of Arboriculture in conference pa-
pers during the 1980s (Holewinski 1983; John-
stone 1983). Both raised ideas of using what has
become known as either natural or directional
pruning rather than traditional roundover trim-
ming. Goodfellow et al. (1987) demonstrated
that directional pruning resulted in less regrowth
than roundover. Johnstone (1988) followed with
a description of how directional pruning could
be successfully integrated into a utility’s vegeta-
tion management program. Directional pruning
certainly came of age with the publication of
Pruning trees near electrical utility lines (1990),
also known as Shigo’s “yellow book.” Although
it was not a research-based publication, the yel-
low book became a key element of utility prac-
tice. It has largely been superseded by Kempter’s
(2004) summary of best management practices.
In recent years, research in the utility side
of arboriculture has focused on three areas: 1) service reliabil-
ity (Galvin 2005; Guggenmoos 2007), 2) impacts of pruning on
tree structure and stability (Browning and Wiant 1997; Dahle
2006a; Dahle 2006b), and 3) the response of property owners
to changes in practice (Close 2001; Kuhns and Reiter 2007).
Outside of the U.S., there has been essentially no research in
the utility arboriculture area, at least that which has been pub-
lished in English language journals. One exception was Millet and
Bouchard’s (2003) application of the French architectural analy-
sis methods to the utility setting. They suggested species architec-
tural patterns should be considered in making pruning decisions.
Municipal arborists have benefited from research deal-
ing with pruning of street trees (10 citations). In 1981, Miller
and Sylvester addressed the question: What is the appropriate
length of the pruning cycle for municipal trees? Using Milwau-
kee, WI, as a test case, they concluded four to five years was
the appropriate pruning cycle. They observed that tree condi-
tion declined as the length of the pruning cycle increased. Tous-
saint et al. (2002) provided a somewhat similar assessment for
European linden (Tilia × europaea) street trees in France. They
Table 2. Journals referenced in the pruning bibliography.
Journal Origin No. of Citations
Acer Italy 7
Agroforestry Systems Netherlands 1
Allgemeine Forstzeitschrift Germany 1
American Journal of Botany United States 1
Annals of Applied Biology United Kingdom 3
Annals of Botany United Kingdom 1
Annual Review of Phytopathology United States 1
Arboricultural Journal United Kingdom 9
Arboriculture & Urban Forestry United States 12
Biological Conservation United Kingdom 1
Biotechnology Agronomy Society & Environment Belgium 1
Canadian Journal of Botany Canada 1
Canadian Journal of Forest Research Canada 7
European Journal of Forest Pathology Netherlands 1
European Journal of Forest Research Germany 1
Forest Ecology and Management United States 5
Forest Pathology United States 1
Forest Science United States 1
Forestry United Kingdom 1
Forst und Holz Germany 1
Forstwissenschaftliches Centralblatt Germany 3
Holz als Roh- und Werkstoff Germany 1
Holzforschung Germany 2
HortScience United States 3
International Association Wood Anatomy Bulletin United States 1
Journal of American Society Horticultural Science United States 2
Journal Applied Ecology United Kingdom 1
Journal of Arboriculture United States 51
Journal of Forestry United States 5
Journal of Wood Science United States 1
Neue Landschaft Germany 1
New Forests United Kingdom 1
New Phytologist United Kingdom 1
New Zealand Tree Grower New Zealand 1
Phytopathology United States 1
Proc. American Society of Horticultural Science United States 1
Schweizerische Zeitschrift fur Forstwese Germany 1
Sherwood Italy 4
Silva Fennica Finland 2
Tasforests Australia 1
Tree Physiology United Kingdom 1
Trees - Structure & Function Germany 4
Urban Forestry & Urban Greening Denmark 5
Western Journal Applied Forestry United States 1
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contrasted the costs of routine pruning to those associated with
topping, finding the former both less expensive and less dam-
aging in the long-term. Campanella et al. (2009) followed this
with an assessment of the long-term costs of roundover, resto-
ration, and thinning of European linden street trees in Belgium.
Nowak (1990) evaluated the results of street tree inventories
from 11 tree species in the U.S. He observed strong species-
specific results in pruning requirements, suggesting that prun-
ing cycle may be species-specific. American elm (Ulmus amer-
icana) and boxelder (Acer negundo) had the most urgent need
for pruning, with London plane (Platanus × acerifolia) and
honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos f. inermis) the least urgent.
Ehsen (1987) described street tree pruning in Germany
with a focus on how pruning needs change over the tree’s
life-span, moving from a focus on training in young trees to
maintenance (e.g., cleaning and raising) on mature trees to
reduction in overmature trees. Balder et al. (1997) summa-
rized street tree selection and management in Germany, using
Berlin as an example. Mascelli et al. (2008) used street trees
in Prato, Italy, as a case study of pruning and management.
The research foundation for the range of types or styles of
pruning varies widely. In some areas, research is only now catch-
ing up with long-time practice. In others, research provided clear
direction to practice. Where to make cuts and the need to use
wound dressings is but one example. The methods for, and value
of, pruning young trees to develop good structure has been well-
documented whether pruning involves retaining low branches
(Leiser et al. 1972), or selective bud removal (Oleksak et al. 1997).
In contrast, other pruning practices have less well-devel-
oped foundation. There is no research to suggest crown thin-
ning improves either tree health or structural stability. And,
while it has been common practice for many years, reduc-
tion pruning to a branch at least one-third the diameter of
the stem lacked a scientific basis. It was not until Grabosky
and Gilman (2007) evaluated reduction cuts on two ma-
ture oak species that a tentative basis could be established.
The architectural style of pruning is common in France
(Stefulesco 1995; Drenou 1999; Drenou 2000). In many
ways, research has followed practice, as this pruning tech-
nique is quite old. Timing and techniques of architectural
pruning have been elucidated by the research of scien-
tists such as Bory et al. (1996) and Clair-Maczulajtys et al.
(1999) who have focused on carbohydrate storage patterns
in trees. Pollards are also a common feature of the Euro-
pean landscape. Both Austad and Hauge (2007) and Fer-
rini (2006c) discuss their physiology and management.
Much of the work with crown-raising has occurred in for-
estry, where the objective is to have the lower trunk free of
branches. From Slabaugh (1957) to Neilsen and Pinkard
(2003), research has documented that removal of up to
50% of the live crown of young trees by lifting does not ad-
versely impact growth. In summarizing the results from
8 field studies with Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii),
O’Hara (1991) suggested 33% crown removal as the limit.
Pruning is considered one of the important tools in the prac-
tice of plant health care. Svihra (1994) summarized the litera-
ture regarding eradicative pruning (i.e., the removal of infested
and infected branches). Pruning has been used to manage dis-
ease problems such as Dutch elm disease (Gregory and Al-
lison 1979) and oak wilt (Appel 1994; Camilli et al. 2007). It
is also important in the management of bronze birch borer
(Ball 1992) and bark beetles (Barger and Cannon 1987). One
of the key results of such work is the knowledge that many
insects are attracted to fresh pruning wounds. For this rea-
son, pruning should take place when insects are not active.
Arborists have long believed that proper pruning reduced
the likelihood of damage during storms. Duryea et al. (1996)
documented the effects of Hurricane Andrew in Florida, sup-
ported this observation for some species. Luley et al. (2002)
documented branch failures in sweetgum (Liquidambar
styraciflua) trees in Rochester, NY, over an eight-year period.
Pruning did not reduce the number of failures (most of which
occurred while the tree was in leaf), but did result in fewer
service requests. Kane (2008) examined the pattern of tree
failure following a severe windstorm in Massachusetts find-
ing that pre-storm pruning “had little effect on (tree) failure.
Pruning has been used as a tool in evaluating tree response to
wind, particularly related to the affect on trunk movement. Smiley
and Kane (2006), Pavlis et al. (2008), and Gilman et al. (2008a;
2008b) simulated wind conditions to evaluate trunk movement
of young trees in response to crown thinning, raising and reduc-
tion pruning. Both crown reduction and crown thinning reduced
trunk movement (Gilman et al. 2008a; Gilman et al. 2008b) and
wind load (Smiley and Kane 2006). Essentially, the more crown
mass removed, the lower the trunk movement or wind load.
Gilman et al. (2008a) noted the response was a complex one,
and the authors cautioned against extrapolating to larger trees.
Moore and Maguire (2005) examined the effects of crown-
raising on movement of 14 m to 20 m Douglas-fir trees. Nat-
ural sway frequency increased as pruning level increased,
although this was not noticeable until 80% of the canopy
had been removed. Changes in sway frequency were related
to how crown mass was distributed. They noted that treat-
ing branches as a lumped mass may not be appropriate.
Standards for pruning are found in the U.S. (ANSI 2008), the
United Kingdom (British Standards Institute 1989), and Germa-
ny (ZTV-Baumpflege 2001). In each case, the standard provides
a common vocabulary and procedures for pruning activities. In
the U.S., the International Society of Arboriculture (Gilman and
Lilly 2002; Kempter 2004) produced a companion volume to the
standard, aimed at defining best practice. In a somewhat similar
manner, the European Arboricultural Council (2008) recently up-
dated the European Tree Pruning Guide. In Italy, the concept of
industry standards remains under discussion (see di Lobis 2003).
RESEARCH TOPICS FOR THE FUTURE
Arboricultural practice should have a foundation in research.
In the area of pruning, a foundation is present to some extent.
It seems clear that employing removal and reduction cuts has
been documented by experimentation and careful observa-
tion. Research by Shigo and more recently by Dujesiefken
has supported use of the branch collar, natural target ap-
proach to selecting the location of a removal cut. Although
less well-defined, the same is true for reduction pruning, pri-
marily through work of Ed Gilman and Jason Grabosky.
In utility arboriculture, reduction cuts take the form of di-
rectional pruning—the effort to use a tree’s natural growth
pattern to aid in maintaining clearance. The literature docu-
ments the value of directional pruning and the problems as-
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sociated with topping and traditional roundover trimming.
Future research could further validate the few experiments
in this area. In addition, research along the line of Millet and
Bouchard’s (2003) application of architectural analysis to
line clearance would enhance the idea of directional growth.
Additional research is needed to support the use of pruning
in the area of plant health care. Although effectiveness of sanita-
tion or eradicative pruning has been documented, use of cleaning
and thinning to improve overall plant health has not. In a similar
manner, an answer to the question, “Does pruning reduce the po-
tential for windthrow, windsnap, or failure during storms?” has
not yet been developed. Most recent research has been with rela-
tively small trees rather than mature individuals. A recent article
by Kane and Harris (2008) reviews the research on this topic.
Access to non-English language journals and those in fields
such as forestry is ever-increasing but is not without its limitations.
First, many but not all journals have some online presence. Ab-
stracts can generally be accessed free of charge. Articles, however,
must be purchased. A second limitation to a broader application
of the world-wide literature is the lack of a common vocabulary.
Is early pruning the same as formative pruning? Is forestry’s green
pruning equivalent to crown raising? Comparison of professional
standards will reduce confusion about terms. A third limitation is
language, as only few journals provide abstracts in other languag-
es. Fewer still offer table and figure captions in a second language.
Acknowledgments. The authors very much appreciate the comments
and suggestions of two anonymous reviewers as well as those of the
editor. We acknowledge the encouragement and support of the ISA Sci-
ence and Research Committee, particularly Greg McPherson and Sharon
Lilly. Thanks to the Department of Plant Biology, University of Califor-
nia (Davis) for providing access to the campus library.
LITERATURE CITED
Harris, R., J. Clark and N. Matheny. 2004. Arboriculture—Integrated
management of landscape trees shrubs and vines. 4th edition. Pren-
tice Hall. Upper Saddle River NJ.
Kane, B., and R. Harris. 2008. Does pruning reduce the risk of tree fail-
ure? Arborist News 17:46-48.
Shigo, A. 1989. Tree Pruning—A worldwide photo guide. Shigo and
Trees Associates. Durham NH.
James R. Clark (corresponding author)
HortScience, Inc.
P.O. Box 754
Pleasanton CA 94566, U.S.
jim@hortscience.com
Nelda Matheny
HortScience, Inc.
P.O. Box 754
Pleasanton CA 94566, U.S.
Résumé. Deux cents une publications de recherches, incluant 152
articles de journaux, ont été compilés. Quarante-quatre journaux étaient
représentés, et le Journal of Arboriculture, le Arboricultural & Urban
Forestry ainsi que le Arboricultural Journal étaient les plus fréquemment
cités. La compartimentation, les blessures, la réaction aux blessures, le
développement de la carie et le traitement des blessures étaient les sujets
les plus fréquemment traités.
La bibliographie a été montée sur Zotero, une application faisant ap-
pel au navigateur Firefox. Les mots-clés ont été identifiés pour chacune
des publications. Lorsque l’article ou le résumé était disponible, une an-
notation a été inscrite. Cet article décrit les sujets majeurs traités qui ont
été identifiés dans cette revue et présente une discussion des directions
futures en ce qui regarde l’élagage.
Zusammenfassung. 201 Forschungspublikationen, einschließlich
152 Journalartikel wurden zusammengestellt. 44 Journale, einschließlich
Journal of Arboriculture, Arboricultural & Urban Forestry, und Arbori-
cultural Journal als die meist zitierten, wurden präsentiert. Kompartmen-
talisierung, Verletzung, Wundreaktion, Fäuleentwicklung und Wundbe-
handlung waren die häufigsten Themen.
Die Bibliographie wurde in Zotero organisiert, eine Applikation
von dem Browser Firefox, welcher die Schlüsselworte in jeder Publika-
tion identifiziert. Wo entweder der Artikel oder sein Abstrakt erhältlich
war, wurde ein Vermerk gemacht. Diese Studie beschreibt die Haupt-
themengebiete, die in der Durchsicht identifiziert wurden und diskutiert
die zukünftigen Richtungen für die Baumpflege.
Resumen. Se compilaron 201 publicaciones de investigaciones in-
cluyendo 152 artículos de journal. Cuarenta y cuatro jornals estuvieron
representados por el Journal of Arboriculture, Arboricultural & Urban
Forestry, y Arboricultural Journal como los más frecuentemente cita-
dos. Compartimentación, herida, respuesta a la herida, desarrollo de la
descomposición y tratamiento de heridas fueron los tópicos más fre-
cuentes. La bibliografía estuvo organizada en Zotero, una aplicación que
usa el navegador Firefox. Se identificaron palabras claves para cada pub-
licación. Cuando el artículo o su abstract estuvieron disponibles, se creó
una anotación. Este trabajo describe los tópicos principales identificados
en la revisión y discute las direcciones futuras para la investigación sobre
la poda.
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Arboriculture & Urban Forestry 36(3): May 2010
©2010 International Society of Arboriculture
115
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... In most cities, street trees are regularly maintained for attractive shapes; while in some cities encountering periodic storms and typhoons, the maintenance routine is additionally targeted at reducing life or property threats from tree failures. Among various maintenance applications, pruning in many areas has been applied as a maintenance routine to achieve multiple objectives, such as controlling pests or diseases, increasing light penetration and air movement, providing aesthetic views, raising the crown height, and improving growth forms and tree structures [14,15]. On the other hand, tree pruning implies an unavoidable loss in the provision of ES, not to mention the additional losses from inappropriate pruning-caused deterioration of tree condition, physical damage, or disease infection [14,16]. ...
... Among various maintenance applications, pruning in many areas has been applied as a maintenance routine to achieve multiple objectives, such as controlling pests or diseases, increasing light penetration and air movement, providing aesthetic views, raising the crown height, and improving growth forms and tree structures [14,15]. On the other hand, tree pruning implies an unavoidable loss in the provision of ES, not to mention the additional losses from inappropriate pruning-caused deterioration of tree condition, physical damage, or disease infection [14,16]. However, the potential loss of ES due to pruning has seldom been studied or discussed. ...
... Sustainability 2022, 14, 6637 ...
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... The obtained values support the results reported in the study of Assaye et al. [96]. Moreover, analyzing the results of Fig. 4, it is evident that the unhealthy trees can create threat for other trees and damage their healthy structure and similar results are reported by Clark and Matheny [97]. In addition, the basal decay and weak crotch and detective branches are the major causes of tree death. ...
... The obtained values support the results reported in the study of Assaye et al. [96]. Moreover, analyzing the results of Figure 4, it is evident that the unhealthy trees can create threat for other trees and damage their healthy structure and similar results are reported by Clark and Matheny [97]. In addition, the basal decay and weak crotch and defective branches are the major causes of tree death. ...
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... The trees in the streets are in a different environment since they are planted in urban areas. Street trees require good management and maintenance such as pruning for them to maintain their aesthetic function (Clark & Matheny, 2010) since streets are harsh and stressful environments (Behrens, 2011). The understanding of urban trees' composition and their environment can help the local authorities and other agencies in managing their resource sustainably. ...
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Most urban trees need a periodic process such as branch pruning to fulfil the requirements of the quintessential characteristics related to its longevity, safety, and removal, based on specific reasons. These processes contribute towards the increment of waste capacity and the cost of maintenance. Therefore, waste should be managed properly since might become a valuable resource for economic benefit. Thus, the study aims to identify the value of urban tree species whereas their waste can be utilised as an alternative for furniture lumber. Seven major roads were selected in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as the areas for the case study. Methods such as literature review and tree inventory were performed to gather significant data. The results acknowledged four valuable urban tree species that can be utilised as furniture lumber. These trees are under the big tree category within 10 to 45 m in height with more than 1m diameters of bolewood, which is their waste is suitable for lumber production. The finding also provides good practice in managing the waste of urban trees for economic worth.
... Pruning refers to cutting, thinning, or other treatment of some parts of plants (Clark and Matheny 2010;Zhang et al. 2018). According to season, pruning can be divided into spring, summer, and autumn pruning. ...
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Key message Pruning could significantly promote branch formation, root development, and leaf growth, especially, improve flavonol glycoside and terpene lactones accumulation in leaves of ginkgo seedlings. Abstract Ginkgo biloba, an economically important tree species, is used as a medicinal plant due to the various secondary metabolites in its leaves. Pruning is the process of cutting branches to facilitate vegetative or reproductive growth. However, little is known about the effects of pruning on active compound accumulation in medicinal plants. Here, we found that after pruning 2-year-old ginkgo seedlings, branch number, ground diameter, and root size increased significantly; in particular, leaf size and crack number increased dramatically. Importantly, after pruning, fresh and dry leaf weights increased. Meanwhile, the total flavonoid, flavonol glycoside, and isorhamnetin contents of the leaves increased significantly, by about 24%, 20%, and 22%, respectively, and the contents of terpene lactones in leaves and roots increased by 8% and 28%, respectively. Through quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analysis, we detected upregulation of flavonoid synthesis-associated genes, including chalcone synthase (CHS), flavonoid 3′-hydroxylase (F3'H), flavonol synthase (FLS), flavanone 3-hydroxylase (F3H) and anthocyanin synthase (ANS), and the terpene lactone synthesis-related genes acetyl-CoA C-acetyltransferase (AACT) in leaves after pruning. These results indicate that pruning promotes leaf growth and bioactive compound accumulation in ginkgo seedlings.
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... In most developing countries, manual pruning are used whereas in developed countries mechanical pruner are used. Pruning is at the heart of arboriculture, one of the most important services arborists provide (Clark & Matheny, 2010). In the next future it is expected that greater use of wireless and lightweight equipment will be done to assess worker exposure to musculoskeletal disorders not only in pruning but in all farming operations (Elio et al., 2014). ...
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... In most developing countries, manual pruning are used whereas in developed countries mechanical pruner are used. Pruning is at the heart of arboriculture, one of the most important services arborists provide (Clark & Matheny, 2010). In the next future it is expected that greater use of wireless and lightweight equipment will be done to assess worker exposure to musculoskeletal disorders not only in pruning but in all farming operations (Elio et al., 2014). ...
Article
Full-text available
Fruit tree pruning is the cutting and removing of selected parts of a fruit tree. It spans through quite a number of horticultural techniques. Pruning includes cutting branches back, sometimes removing smaller limbs entirely and more so the removal of young shoots, buds and leaves. Established orchard practice of both organic and nonorganic types typically includes pruning. Pruning can control growth, remove dead or diseased wood, and stimulate the formation of flowers and fruit buds. Pruning and training young trees improves their later productivity and longevity and can also prevent later injury from weak crotches or forks (where a tree trunk splits into two or more branches) that break from the weight of fruit, snow, or ice on the branches. However, the efficiency of pruning methods is also important. Manual pruning has constraints like lower field Capacity and incomplete pruning in case of tall trees. Therefore, a tractor operated 1-row frontal pre-pruner with electro hydraulic control was tested for Kinnow Mandarin and Guava orchards. The time involved for top and side pruning was 23.30 and 46.80 min/acre, respectively and there was 99.32-99.38% saving in time as compared to manual pruning.
... However, studies that would quantify these effects for the stand of trees in a city are not known to the authors. Further on, tree pruning needs to be mentioned (Clark and Matheny 2010). Trees in streets and on squares need to be pruned to uplift the crown so that, e.g. ...
Chapter
Climate change in combination with increasing urbanization is a major challenge for our cities. Ecosystem services from the urban green play a significant role in mitigating the negative effects. Urban tree growth models are appropriate tools for the quantification of ecosystem services in some cases in dependence of the plant growth dynamics and of the changing environment. We report about the state of the art in modelling urban tree growth and ecosystem services and describe the background of urban tree growth and the provision of ecosystem services. Furthermore, we present basic growth model principles and describe and compare existing urban tree growth models. Finally we discuss the use of urban tree growth models, uncover advantages and disadvantages of the single urban tree growth models and indicate current limitations and future venues in modelling.
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Tree pruning is carried out to reduce conflict with infrastructure, buildings, and any other human activity. However, heavy pruning may result in a diminished tree crown capacity for sugar production and exposure to fungal infection. This risk leads to a decrease in tree stability or vigour. In this work, we analysed the effect of heavy pruning of roadside trees on the photosynthetic performance process compared to neighbouring unpruned trees. Four years of tree crown growth was studied by terrestrial imaging. Tree vitality (Roloff’s classification) and risk (Visual Tree Assessment) were evaluated. Over-pruned trees showed intensified photosynthetic efficiency during the growing season following pruning. Particularly ET 0 /TR 0 and PI ABS tended to increase in pruned trees while higher F v /F m was noted only in late October, suggesting delayed leaf senescence. After four years, pruned trees rebuilt their crowns, however not in their entirety. Results obtained from biometric, vitality, and risk assessment showed high differentiation in pruned tree crown recovery. Our results revealed that despite the intensified efforts of trees to recover from wounding effects, severe pruning evokes dieback occurrence and a higher risk of failure in mature trees.
Article
Fruit tree pruning is the cutting and removing of selected parts of a fruit tree. It spans through quite a number of horticultural techniques. Pruning includes cutting branches back, sometimes removing smaller limbs entirely and more so the removal of young shoots, buds and leaves. Established orchard practice of both organic and nonorganic types typically includes pruning. Pruning can control growth, remove dead or diseased wood, and stimulate the formation of flowers and fruit buds. Pruning and training young trees improves their later productivity and longevity and can also prevent later injury from weak crotches or forks (where a tree trunk splits into two or more branches) that break from the weight of fruit, snow, or ice on the branches. However, the efficiency of pruning methods is also important. Manual pruning has constraints like lower field Capacity and incomplete pruning in case of tall trees. Therefore, a tractor operated 1-row frontal pre pruner with electro hydraulic control was tested for Kinnow Mandarin and Guava orchards. The time involved for top and side pruning was 23.30 and 46.80 min/acre, respectively and there was 99.32 - 99.38 % saving in time as compared to manual pruning.
Article
Excision of infected or infested branches from woody plants was recommended as a control tactic more than 150 years ago. The term "eradicative pruning" was first introduced for Dutch elm disease control. Eradicative pruning can eliminate local and regional branch (limb) infection or infestation to prevent further spread of a pathogen or pest in the tree. When combined with other chemical and cultural treatments, eradicative pruning fits well to the concept of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) or Plant Health Care (PHC). Timing of pruning, severity and extent of symptoms, location of pathogen or pest attack, stage of infection or infestation, and contamination of pruning tools all influence the success of eradicative pruning. This report presents a guide for selected disease and pest attacks that can be successfully eradicated from woody plants in California.
Article
A study was conducted to examine the economics of deferring line clearance tree pruning. The cost of pruning a tree was found to increase significantly as it grows closer to, and beyond, the conductors. The amount of biomass, and thus disposal cost, also increases with the length of time a tree is allowed to grow. Predictive models were developed for three utilities to provide a means of projecting the total impact of postponing line clearance work on crew time and costs associated with pruning trees. For every routine maintenance dollar deferred, substantially more than one dollar must be spent in subsequent years to re-establish the preferred cycle. The specific amount of this increase is utility dependent and is affected by production costs, tree growth rates, site characteristics (dbh and type of pruning), etc. An additional adjustment would be necessary to allow for an increase in disposal costs resulting from a larger amount of biomass removed. If funding reductions are not offset with larger expenditures in subsequent years, tree maintenance cycles are rapidly extended. Modeling a 20 percent annual funding decrease resulted in extending one utility's cycle from 5 years to 9 years over a 12-year period. These estimates do not take into account the impact that deferred line clearance work has on service reliability, service restoration costs, and the amount of time spent on hotspotting and responding to customer requests for unscheduled maintenance.
Article
Lagerstroemia ´ 'Natchez' trees were topped, pollarded, or not pruned for 4 consecutive years. The first time trees were pruned in 1998, pollarding required more time than topping. However, the time required to top trees increased in each subsequent year; pollarding time remained the same for each year. Longitudinal sections through stems showed that barrier zones and decay extended farther behind heading cuts on topped trees 5 years after the initial pruning than with the cuts on pollarded trees. Trees in the topping treatment formed a visible, dark-colored barrier zone along the cambium present at the time of wounding, averaging 74 cm (2.5 ft) in length, originating from the heading cuts made through 4- to 5-year-old wood. Barrier zone length on pollarded trees was only 1.8 cm (0.7 in) behind the original heading cuts through 2- to 3-year-old wood. Topping trees resulted in a sixfold increase in the volume of wood contained in dead stubs in the canopy compared to pollarding trees. Topping increased the need for cleaning the canopy of dead branches. A collar formed at the base of sprouts that were less than 0.64 the diameter of the largest sprout 5 years after the original heading cuts on trees in the topped treatment.
Article
The effect of pruning on service requests, branch failures, and priority maintenance was evaluated in the City of Rochester, New York, U.S., using 8 years of historical data on street trees. Pruning, which was completed on a management unit basis, was evaluated by comparing pruned and unpruned management units. Analysis of service request data showed that pruned management units had lower forestry-related requests and fewer pruning-related requests from the public but not lower requests for branch-failure-related maintenance annually or during high wind events. Analysis of work history or work completed showed that pruned management units had lower priority maintenance after pruning but not lower branch failure rates. Branch failure rates averaged 7.6 and 6.5 failures per 1,000 trees annually when based on requests and work completed, respectively. On the average, branch failure rates during the leaf-on period were three times greater than when foliage was not present. These results will help other communities compare the relative effectiveness of their pruning program and provide a branch failure probability for managed street trees.
Article
Scots pines (Pinus sylvestris L.) at 2 locations and dogwoods (Cornus florida L.) at 1 location were observed for branch dieback from spring 1996 through autumn 1998. Some trees at each location were comprehensively pruned to eliminate dead twigs and branches and compared to trees not pruned. Of the branch-killing fungi present, Sphaeropsis was the most important in the pines, and Discula and Botryosphaeria were the prominent ones in the dogwoods. We concluded that comprehensive pruning of branches killed by fungi significantly improves the appearance of Scots pines and dogwoods but does not totally eliminate disease from the trees.
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Topping trees has long been a problem in community forestry, not only by creating visual blight, but also by endangering the health of trees and the safety of pedestrians and property. Despite regulations in some cities and a long history of educational campaigns, the practice continues. In this study, a survey was conducted in one region of the United States to determine the reasons behind the continuing practice, in part by directly interviewing people who had requested or allowed their shade trees to be topped. The survey investigated attitudes toward topping, knowledge of basic tree care, how the individuals receive advice related to tree care, how their topping service was obtained, and related sociodemographic characteristics. A second survey was conducted among tree care companies in the same study area to allow comparisons and determine policies toward topping.