What is directional pruning?
Directional pruning removes branches growing toward the power lines while leaving those that are growing away. It is the most appropriate pruning method for utility line clearance.
How will a tree look after it is directionally pruned?
Trees growing directly under power lines may appear U or V-shaped (crown reduction or throughpruning). Trees growing alongside power lines may appear L- shaped, or one side may be completely removed (side pruning). The tree may often appear misshapen but this pruning is being performed to provide for safety and service reliability, not for aesthetic purposes. In general, trees growing near the power lines will never have the potential to grow with a “natural” shape.
DO NOT TOP TREES! Also called ‘roundingover,’ this is not directional pruning and is not an acceptable pruning practice. It involves cutting branches to stubs or lateral points that are not large enough to grow successfully. It can severely weaken the tree and even kill some species.