Maintenance Contract Puts You First in Line

Heartwood strives to offer effective, timely and helpful care for the large plants that are so important and beneficial to your property. Starting in 2019, we will offer regularly scheduled pruning of your trees and shrubs.  Having a schedule in place each year before pruning needs actually arise means the ups and downs of our work season (heavily influence by weather) will not change the pruning interval of your trees.  No need to wait until we can get there! By having a schedule in place, you are first in line.

Custom-Tailored Schedules & Pricing

We determine pruning frequency for your property according to your needs and your budget. Once we establish a schedule, you can expect us to visit at the agreed-upon time and interval. You will not need to call and remind us. Clients who are interested in caring for their trees and shrubs through regular maintenance are our priority.

Over time, regular pruning maintenance saves you money because we can usually spot health and structural issues before they become a serious problem. In addition, your trees and shrubs will never get overgrown or unkept.

Plant Maintenance Categories

We like to break up maintenance pruning into three distinct categories: small trees and shrubs, young shade trees, and mature trees. Each category normally has different frequencies needs for maintenance pruning. 

Small Trees & Shrubs 

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Depending on your needs and expectations and the plants involved, small tree and shrub pruning might occur anywhere from 2 times a year to once every 2 years.  Benefits include:

  • Prevent foundation plantings from becoming overgrown and/or touching buildings.

  • Maintain proper spacing between each plant (excepting hedge situations).

  • Improve the longevity and quantity of flowers in flowering shrubs like lilac, dogwood, and witch hazel.

  • Maintain the health of your privacy screening and control its size.

  • More frequent hedge or screening pruning ensures the screening remains full and thick. Infrequent pruning usually requires removal of more plant material, often leaving small holes or bare spots.

  • Return vitality to old shrubs in rough shape through rejuvenation pruning.  Rejuvenation pruning not only improves shrub appearance, it also improves their vigor and health.

  • Remove dead branches immediately.

  • Control growth without the shock of irregular pruning cycles.

The growth habits of each particular plant and your own specific needs dictate the pruning actions we take, but the above should provide a concept of what pruning involves for small trees and shrubs.

Young Trees

Young trees (shade) need frequent structural pruning to ensure proper long-term structure while avoiding larger pruning cuts, which tax the tree more in order to seal those wounds. We refer to this as train pruning of young trees. We are training them to grow more vertically over time because a more vertical tree emulates the form most often found in the forest. A vertical forest-grown tree has smaller lateral branches and a straight (or almost straight) central trunk (leader). If you contacted us to set up regular maintenance pruning on your property this would be one of the first things we would discuss. An ounce of prevention now will create a pound of happy tree in the future. Actually, it will create tons of clean air, clean water, and skin saving shade!

Structural pruning frequency is dictated most importantly by the tree species you have. Some species grow more aggressively, so pruning them every two years is appropriate. Slower-growing trees, like oak trees, can probably be pruned every 3 or 4 years. If you have an autumn blaze maple, regular pruning (almost every year) is key to avoid well documented structural issues. 

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Structural Pruning Goals for Young Trees

  • Establish a dominant central trunk (leader)

  • Remove diseased or damaged branches

  • Create proper branch spacing

  • Shorten lower branches that compete with central trunk (leader)

  • Establish an acceptable ‘skirt height’ (height of lowest branches)

  • Shorten temporary branches to control their size (diameter)

  • Establish permanent branches in upper canopy

  • Check for root flare/proper planting depth

Mature Trees

Mature trees are the most involved in terms of pruning, but likely don not need the frequent attention that younger trees and shrubs do.  Oftentimes, yard placement and health most determine how often these trees needs attention. A healthy oak in the middle of the backyard with little root disturbance (compaction, construction, etc.) can go 5-10 years without pruning. If you have a river birch next to your house, we should come out every 3 years to keep it off the roof. 


Regular Care Produces the Best Results

Perhaps the best reason to have Heartwood on your property on a regular interval is to catch disease issues, structural deficiencies, or train pruning young trees or shrubs to create long-term structural stability of the tree. Contact us to set up an appointment if you would like to talk about exploring a maintenance contract for your tree and shrub care.