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May Tree Maintenance

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May Tree Maintenance


Arborist pruning shade tree

Pictured: Certified ISA arborist pruning gumbo limbo in Mounts Botanical Garden.
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Some routine pruning of your shade trees now can save you headaches this summer. Prepare trees for windy days by proper pruning.  A wind resistant tree is the result of regular care since its early life. Shade trees should never be cut back to make them bushy, but instead should be encouraged to form a strong leader with a well spaced framework of lateral branches. Start your pruning routine by removing dead, dying or damaged branches first this will limit wind hazards and the spread of decay and diseases. Remove crossing branches and branches within the canopy that are narrowly attached .Trees can then be thinned out to increase light penetration, encouraging turf and shrub growth beneath the tree. Trees with properly thinned crowns also resist wind damage better than un-pruned trees. Thinning requires specialized pruning technique best performed by a professional arborist. For information on selecting a International Society of Arboriculture certified arborist contact:

You can also download the University of Florida publication 'How to Minimize Damage in the South Florida Landscape' :

For your questions on proper tree pruning call the Palm Beach County Cooperative Extension Service Master Gardener Volunteer Hotline 233-1750 M-F 9-4.