Odd pruning of trees

Asked March 22, 2017, 8:35 PM EDT

I have seen over the last number of years medium to even large trees being pruned back very heavily, almost like shrubs. I've always understood this to be potentially harmful to trees. I'm assuming they are trying to obtain a more contained and rounded form? Any ither ideas why one would do this or if they should? I'll attach a photo. Thank you!

Anoka County Minnesota

1 Response

I can think of no horticultural reason to butcher trees in this way.

If these trees survive, the new growth will be witches brooms, water sprouts, and other aggressive weak wood. But the trees' health has been severely compromised. The pruning cuts (some of which appear to be rips and tears) and the weak wood will provide pathways for disease pathogens and insects.