Tree Trimming & Pruning

Austin Tree Trimming & Pruning Company

Tree pruning is an art as well as a science. It can either help or hurt a tree. It is important that a tree trimming crew has both good training and good judgment. Our pruning / trimming crews are supervised by an ISA Certified Arborist, and we follow ISA Standards and Practices, ANSI A300 Pruning Standards, and ANSI Z133 Safety Standards. We believe in a less-is-more approach, and we will always choose to leave green material on the tree unless there is a good reason to remove it.

Tree Trimming & Pruning

To Trim or Not To Trim

Tree pruning and trimming may be broken down into many sub-categories: weight reduction, crown reduction, dead wood removal, roof clearance, canopy raising, structural pruning….the list goes on. Most pruning jobs are a combination of several of these.

In our opinion, each cut should be justified. After that, it must be executed correctly. All interior green growth should never be stripped from a tree (a practice called lion-tailing). “Topping” is also never an acceptable pruning practice. There are better ways of reducing the height of a tree if absolutely necessary (see crown reduction below). A pruning cut should be made just outside the branch collar – not flush to the trunk, but not so long that a long stub remains.

Tree Trimming & Pruning Services

Dead wood removal

Removal of dead wood can serve many functions. It can reduce liabilities by eliminating large dead limbs that are at risk of falling and injuring people or property. It can, in cases of dense dead wood, improve tree health by improving air circulation throughout the tree canopy. Finally, it improves the aesthetic appeal of a tree by eliminating unnecessary and unsightly dead wood and creating a more clean and open look.

Canopy raising

This is also called “crown raising.” In parking lots or driveways, canopies are routinely raised to approximately 12′ above ground, wherever possible, in order to provide clearance for vehicles. Trees over walkways may be raised to the client’s specifications. Canopies over city roads are raised to at least 14′, in accordance with city ordinances.

Building clearance and roof clearance

Clearance consists of pruning trees so as to prevent damage to your roof or building from contact with tree limbs. Where possible, Live oak limbs are pruned back to at least 3′ from any structure, and other species are pruned back as far as 4′. This allows enough space between trees and structures so that, with normal growth, the procedure should not need repeating for at least three years. Keep in mind that if a judgment call needs to be made regarding a large, healthy limb, our crew chief will act in favor of the overall health of the tree, rather than an overly strict adherence to this specification.

Weight reduction

It is occasionally necessary to reduce the amount of green material at the end of the limb. This is usually done due to concerns about breakage on long, heavy limbs that overhang structures or high-traffic areas.

Structural pruning

Pruning a tree to correct structural issues is best done when the tree is young. Rubbing or crossing limbs should always be eliminated if possible. A well-formed tree should have well-spaced branches with scaffolding attachments, a full, symmetrical crown, and a strong central leader (except in the case of multi-trunked species.) This form can be encouraged in young trees by judicious pruning. We advise our clients to aggressively and deliberately train their young trees now, in order to avoid contending with large structural defects once the tree is mature.

Crown reduction

Also called drop-crotch pruning is typically reserved for situations where a tree has grown too tall for its available space (beneath a power line, for example.) In Austin, tree trimming around power lines is frequently performed by the utility companies, often with less than optimal results. We recommend crown reduction in lieu of topping when the height of a tree must be reduced. Note, however, that crown reduction should still be considered a method of last resort, since the required cuts are often aggressive and prone to secondary problems such as decay.

Crown thinning

The selective removal of live wood can help to improve light and air penetration when a tree canopy is exceptionally dense. In Austin, we are rarely required to do this because, with a few exceptions, our native species do not tend toward particularly dense canopies. Also, Austin tree trimming rarely involves thinning simply because most folks want to preserve as much of their shade as possible!

Customer Reviews

4.7 online rating with 100+ reviews

  • I had five different tree companies quote the removal of a giant post oak in my front yard that had died. Markus was the most knowledgeable and friendly of the... read more

    thumb Sherry LeBlanc
  • Markus loves trees and is a wellspring of knowledge and experience. I own my own tree care company, but rather than seeing Markus as a competitor, he is a respected... read more

    thumb Tim Brosnan
  • We had significant wind damage to several trees close to our house including one that broke and fell on our deck. Just trees removed all the limbs and trimmed... read more

    thumb Howard Kay
  • I've been calling on Just Trees since 2008. Such a great group of guys! Always professional and thorough. They just did a smashing job cleaning up our palms!

    thumb Michelle Gonzales
  • We have used Just Trees for years. Markus knows his stuff and always quoted a fair price for the work to be done. We recommend Just Trees to anyone who... read more

    thumb Joy Ruff
  • Lowest bid, and the trees done as promised.

    thumb r hous
  • Just Trees have been taking care of the trees on my property for over 10 years. Markus is a trained arborist and is extremely knowledgeable. He has shown himself to... read more

    thumb Jenni Lawaski
  • Just Trees was excellent. Professional, understood exactly what needed to be done -- was selling the house so I wanted the trees to look good but because I... read more

    thumb Shannon Stewart
  • We had Just Trees remove two large Bradford Pear trees. I left for work in the morning, came back in the evening, the trees were gone, the stumps ground... read more

    thumb Holly S.
  • Chris was very knowledgeable and helpful!

    thumb Drew M

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