Tree Shapers Tree Trimming, Tree Shaping, Tree Pruning, Tree Care Industry, Arboriculture Consultations, San Francisco Bay Area
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Tree services include pruning of various types to suit the needs of our clients as well as the needs of the tree. We also remove and plant trees, install cables and braces and perform stump grinding.

Below are descriptions of of the different types of pruning and other services. Use the links in the menu above to get to the different sections, or simply scroll down this page.

Click each image for a larger view.

Cloud Pruning (Niwaki) Cloud Pruning - click for a larger photo
This is one of our specialties. We use it in various circumstances. For example, it could be used in formally designed gardens such as Japanese gardens. Sometimes it is a solution for problems such as limited yard space. As an example: in order to keep a Monterey pine which has the genetic potential to get 80 to 100 feet tall and 30 to 40 feet wide from overwhelming a 25 foot lot, the tree could be trained to maintain a smaller size. The limbs could also be cloud pruned while vista pruning in order to give an interesting view through the tree from a deck or window.

Crown Raising
This is done to clear sidewalks, roads and/or buildings. This involves removing the lower limbs to give the needed clearance.

Crown Reduction (after) - click for larger photoCrown Reduction (before) - click for larger photoCrown Reduction
This is pruning for the purpose of reducing the overall size of the tree’s canopy. This can be done for various reasons such as reducing the weight on limbs, reducing the windsail, and making the tree safer and less prone to damage or failure. Crown reduction can also be done to restore the view or to keep the tree restricted within a limited yard space.

Crown Restoration
This restores the shape of a tree that has been improperly pruned in the past as in cases of topping. It is a process that takes two or more prunings, depending on the severity of the past treatment.

Crown Shaping (after) - click for larger photoCrown Shaping (before) - click for larger photoCrown Shaping
This can be done to trees and shrubs in different ways, de- pending on the circumstances. Trees can be controlled to a very definite line, as in the pruning of hedges, or as in the umbrella shapes seen on some street trees to reduce the size of the crown. A more loose and natural shape may be desired where the crown is reduced, but the shape is maintained as it would grow naturally. Shaping also includes pollarding, topiary and espaliered trees and shrubs.

Crown Thinning
This is the removal of material throughout the inside of the tree. Thinning reduces windsail and weight, but could also be used for restoring the view so one could look through the tree. We also call it “daylighting” because it brings more light to the inside of the tree as well as the garden below.

Crown Grooming - click for a larger photoGrooming or “Detailing”
This is one of the basic activities in our work to keep your trees healthy and attractive.Sometimes limbs will die, become diseased and damaged from nature or man, and sometimes grow in a deranged manner which can cause problems with the tree in the future. If grooming is started when the tree is young, there will be fewer problems in the future.

Palm Trimming - click for a larger photo Palm Trimming
Palm trees require a unique approach since their anatomy differs from other trees. Based on this knowledge, the process of pruning is not the same. Climbing techniques and equipment used also differ from other treesas well.

Root Pruning
This is sometimes necessary if the roots are interfering with infrastructures such as sidewalks, pools or other structures. If either new building or landscape is being added, existing tree roots may have to be cut. Knowing how much can be cut without jeopardizing the survival of the tree requires an experienced arborist. Making the cuts on the roots in a proper fashion is as important as making proper pruning cuts on the upper limbs of a tree. Sometimes trimming the crown of a tree in conjunction with root pruning is necessary to counteract the effects of root loss.

Safety and Structural Pruning
This is a very important consideration in arboriculture. It is one of the first things we assess when we look at a job site. Besides the danger of limbs or trees falling on people and/or structures, the damage to the tree itself can be a major problem. Losing a tree can be a great loss to the value of the property, not to mention the attachment people may have to it. Besides spoiling the aesthetics of the tree and garden, limbs breaking off a tree can create injuries that jeopardize the health as well as the structural integrity of the tree.

Vista Pruning (after) - click for larger photoVista Pruning (before) - click for larger photoVista Pruning
This type of pruning restores views. The San Francisco Bay area has some of the most beautiful vistas in the world. Part of the view is the tree itself. We feel that it is vital to preserve the beauty and health of the tree during the process of restoring one’s view beyond the canopy of the tree.
Additional Services
Cabling and Bracing is done only after corrective pruning to reduce weight on weak systems in the tree. As an adjunct, it can help to reduce the risk of tree or branch failure. Correct installation is crucial in order to have the least possible damage to the tree from the installation itself. One needs to realize that any kind of cutting or drilling on a tree creates a wound inducing a protective reaction. The fewer and smaller the wounds, the less damage to the tree.

Planting the right tree and installing it correctly requires proper knowledge. Planting starts with selecting the best species adapted for the particular location and climate, as well as making sure that the nursery specimen is healthy without defects. With correct planting procedures, you will have a beautiful tree in the future with few, if any, problems. Remember, it is no more work to plant the appropriate specimen than it is to plant an inappropriate one!

Removing Trees. Although we may not like it, removing trees is sometimes necessary under certain circumstances. When cutting a tree down, it is critical to exercise care to protect people, structures, and other plants on your property.

Stump Grinding. Stumps left from removed trees and shrubs may be unsightly or may be in the way of new planting or construction. We can provide this service while we are there to remove a tree or we can be called upon to take care of old stumps from the past.

See Glossary for more definitions.
Please visit the Gallery for photographs of these services.
See also Preservation Strategies.
All photos © Tree Shapers.

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Certified Arborists  Ted Kipping #0301  Phil Danielson #5021