Hazard Reduction Pruning

Hazard Reduction Pruning Is recommended when the primary objective is to reduce the danger to a specific target caused by visibly defined hazards in a tree. For example, HRP may be the primary objective if a tree has many dead limbs over a school yard.

Many times safety is of the upmost importance when trees are located around valuable assets or populated areas. A good example would be a large eucalyptus tree located in the center of a school yard. In this case the children would be the “target” and the threat would be the tree, mitigations would need to be considered to reduce the hazard of this tree.

Depending on an arborists evaluation, removal may be the only solution to eliminate the hazard; or maybe pruning would suffice to reduce the hazard to a tolerable level acceptable to the owner. Hazard reduction pruning such as reducing the weight of some heavy limbs and thinning the canopy to reduce the trees sail effect might be all that is needed to allow this tree to remain. A well trained and experienced qualified arborist would need to write the specifications depending on the risk the client is willing to accept. The arborist first would need perform a tree risk assessment on the tree to determine the condition and secondly the target it threatens. These and other factors affecting tree failures are all considered to conclude a professional opinion of action. Hazard reduction pruning is a great alternative vs removal that should be considered to maintain valuable large trees in public areas without sacrificing safety.

ArborPro has performed hundreds of pruning’s over the last decade with fantastic results. We have hazard maintained and preserved various species from hundred year old oak trees to gigantic eucalyptus trees all the way down to delicate ornamental maple trees the owners wanted to save.

Hazard reduction pruning should consist of one or more of the pruning types noted below although commonly reduction, thinning and cleaning is utilized.

  • Crown cleaning — The selective removal of one or more of the following items: dead, dying or diseased branches, weak branches and watersprouts
  • Crown thinning — The selective removal of branches to increase light penetration, air movement and to reduce weight
  • Crown raising — The removal of the lower branches to provide clearance
  • Crown reduction or shaping — Decrease the height and/or spread of a tree. Consideration should be given to the ability of the species to sustain this type of pruning

With the American National Standard for pruning, ANSI A300, specifications are interpreted based on the development process approved by the American Standards Institute. The A300 standard has been drafted to address pruning specifications across all geographic areas. The above information is designed to help you understand exactly what will be accomplished in a pruning operation from ArborPro.