Most gardening enthusiasts understand the importance of trimming trees but worry about how to choose the correct tree trimming techniques. To get you started, the team at SoutheastTree has compiled this quick guide. If you’d like to learn even more about tree trimming in Marietta by SoutheastTree, contact their offices at (770) 977-8733.

General trimming techniques support the health of the crown to ensure good health. Choosing the proper pruning technique depends less on the tree species and broken branches than you might think. The following methods are best for the most common types of trees with few dead branches or damage. 

1) Crown Thinning

The denser the crown, the less light and air penetrate the canopy. Therefore, thinning is necessary for mature trees. The goal is to ensure air circulation rather than train the tree to grow into a particular shape, so you only cut back 10% to 20% of the branches. 

Stick to the limbs at the outer edge of the canopy for the best results. If the tree is large, remove the ends of branches measuring between one and four inches in circumference. For shrubs and small trees, remove any tips from a quarter to half an inch in diameter. 

2) Crown Raising

You’ll commonly find that people select one of these tree trimming techniques for safety or aesthetic reasons. Raising the crown increases the clearance between the lower branches and the ground. Crown raising is useful when you wish to clear the view or allow additional clearance for other buildings or traffic. 

You may remove limbs with a diameter of under four inches from the lower reaches of the tree. Aim for a ratio of 60% crown to about 40% trunk showing for the best results. Working gradually here is crucial to avoid impacting the tree’s health.

3) Crown Reduction

Crown reduction is another method suited to mature trees. Unlike crown thinning, the objective is to encourage new growth and strengthen the tree overall. You’ll cut back branches when they deviate from the lateral branch. The lateral branch forms part of the crown in spring and can shoot new growth. 

This technique is far kinder than topping as it involves fewer cuts. The tree’s structure remains as you leave some old growth in place. 

4) Crown Cleaning

With this method, you remove diseased, broken, or dead branches. With the other techniques, you prune the limbs during the dormant season. However, you may employ this method year-round. 

Cleaning away dead, diseased, or damaged branches is crucial in preventing them from wreaking further havoc. For example, a dead branch crashing to the ground may damage more stems on the way down. The limb may also damage your property or hurt someone when it falls. 

With this method, you remove the diseased or damaged wood completely. Protecting the tree is more important than aesthetics at this point. 

Which Method Is Best for Your Needs? 

The answer depends on your goals for your tree. Ask yourself whether or not your aim is to: 

  • Reshape 
  • Improve circulation
  • Remove dead or diseased branches
  • Encourage new growth
  • Improve clearance

Are you still feeling confused? Would you prefer not to clamber about on a high ladder? That’s no problem, as the SoutheastTree team can do all this for you and more. Simply call us, and we’ll send someone out. 

Now that you know the top tree trimming techniques, find out if it’s wise to trim trees in the summer. Alternatively, save yourself the effort and hire SoutheastTree to show you how professionals handle it by contacting us today.  


SoutheastTree is one of the best, top rated full-service tree removal companies serving the Atlanta, GA area. Our team of trained arborists are experts in the art and science of removing trees.

Contact Us

4710 Lower Roswell Rd. Suite 100
Marietta, GA 30068

Phone : 770-977-8733 (TREE)

24/7 Emergency Tree Removal:
(678) 631-7382

Email :

Call Now Button