Proper Pruning Principles – Trees

Any type of storm damage will place your tree under stress and this last winter was certainly the worst ice storm seen in this area for many decades. We continue to see large broken limbs that are not completely severed as a result of the ice storm of 2013. It is important to remove these branches as this type of damage will rob important nutrients from the tree. So, now is a good time to consider fertilizing your trees and shrubs to give them a nutritional boost after a long harsh winter. Kingsway Greenhouse has a water soluble Tree & Shrub 30-10-10 fertilizer with micronutrients for $9.99 for a 1 kg. pail.


Other Suggestions for Limiting Storm DamageBranch Collar Pruning


To help you avoid the safety hazards of dangling tree branches due to ice build-up, the regular removal of dead wood or weak limbs is important. Also, pruning to thin out the canopy will benefit the health of the tree by providing good air circulation in the summer months and help reduce too much snow or ice build-up in the winter.  Remember to leave the bark collar when trimming a branch right off. The bark collar contains hormones that prevent disease and rot, and promotes proper healing.

Considering a New Tree?

Key things to consider before planting a new tree is the desired ultimate size, meaning how tall and wide will this tree become in 8 – 10 years. A mature tree is an asset to your property and value of your home, therefore it is wise to think about the size and shape of tree that will compliment your home. Some people attempt to keep a tree to a desired shape by pruning; although this is an effective way to keep the shape tidy and the tree smaller, the tree will always outgrow your pruners as all trees continue to grow until their climax height, and shape is reached.

Something else to bear in mind that varieties such as Silver Maple and Birch could be candidates for winter damage as they are a soft wood tree. These are generally popular trees due to the fast growing nature of softwood varieties. Some other trees that suffered greater damage were Willow, Manitoba Maple, Norway Maple and Poplar, all fast growing and weaker woods.


Here are a few of suggestion if you are looking for a new tree for your home.


  • Honey Locust Gleditsia triacanthos –  40’ tall x 40’ wide – native in Ontario, good for urban tree as it is highly tolerant of salt pollution and drought. It offers dappled shade, allowing you to plant beneath it. It is also a nitrogen fixer, adding nitrogen into your soil. Nitrogen allows plants to put on green growth and is arguably the most important of the 16 nutrients that all plants require.
  • Columnar Sugar Maple Acer saccharum – 40’ tall x12’ wide – suitable for a small home, tightly columnar variety, outstanding gold fall colour, low maintenance.
 Columnar Sugar Maple  Sugar Maple Leaves
  • Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry Amelanchier x grandiflora – 25’ tall x 25’ wide – white spring blossoms and in summer berry like fruit which attract birds, fall colour is red, excellent small tree, also available as a multi-stem large shrub. Considered a 3 Season tree, you get blossoms in spring, shade in summer and vibrant red colour in Autumn!
 Autumn Brilliance Service Berry - Fall  Autumn Brilliance Service Berry - Spring