Clients will ask me if they should prune their tree.  I am not a fan of answering a question with a question but in this case I will.  Does your tree need to be pruned?  Pruning needs to have a purpose and not “just because”.  More often than not, I see around town trees have have been over pruned, lions tailed, or turned into lollipops.

Pruning is intentional wounding of trees.  Each cut has the potential to either enhance or disfigure the tree for the remainder of its life.  Reasons for pruning would include to correct damage from weather events, line of sight, removal of disease or insect damage.

Trees produce energy through photosynthesis.  One of the best plant organs to perform this task is the leaf.  When dramatic pruning takes place and the tree looses too many leaves there will be unseen/unrealized consequences.

I wanted to share with you some horrific pictures I took of some trees that were badly pruned.  These tree will probably never be able to fully recover from the damage that was done.

If you need to prune it is best done in the spring and check out this publication from Purdue Extension:


Scott Evans
Scott Evans is a horticulture assistant with Nebraska Extension in Douglas-Sarpy Counties. A certified arborist through International Society of Arboirculture and Nebraska Arborist Association. Scott is also Tree Risk Assessment Qualified through ISA. Scott co-leads the Master Gardener program in Douglas & Sarpy counties. Along with volunteer management he provides his expertise with disease and insect identification, lawn and landscape weed management, plant health, and I.P.M. practices. He also enjoys growing many houseplants ranging from African violets to cacti and succulents. Scott has two Bachelors of Science, one in Biology (emphasis in Botany, Ecology and Environmental Science) and second in Environmental Geology from Northwest Missouri State University. He earned his Master of Agriculture from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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