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the removal of live branches and stems to influence the orientation, spacing, growth rate, and strength of attachment, and ultimate size of branches and stems.
Structural pruning is used on young and medium-aged trees to help engineer a sustainable trunk and branch arrangement. If young trees are pruned to promote good structure, Crown configuration, properly spaced codominant stems, reduce or remove rubbing limbs and they will likely remain serviceable in the landscape for more years than trees that have not been structurally pruned. Waiting until the tree grows larger makes structural pruning difficult and is more damaging to the tree.
Removing codominant stems so that branches remain less than half the size of the trunk reduces the risk of failure later. Small-maturing trees can be trained to several trunks or pruned to develop only one, depending on the situation.
Multiple prunings over time usually are required to develop a dominant leader. Competing stems and branches are subordinated (reduced in length) or removed. Subordinating is usually preferred over removal.
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