City of Stevens Point Forestry Dept. personnel are pruning City street trees. Stevens Point keeps a four-year pruning cycle, so every tree in the right-of-way between the street and sidewalk is pruned, if needed, at least once every four years.
The City is responsible for all work performed on the trees in the right-of–way. The pruning crew is trained in proper pruning techniques that follow industry standards.
Trees are pruned for several reasons. Young trees are pruned to train them to maintain a strong central leader and sound branching structure. As trees grow, they are pruned to provide sixteen feet of clearance above the street, and eight feet above sidewalks. Dead, diseased, insect-infested, crossing, and rubbing limbs and competing leaders are some of the things the crew is pruning out of the street trees.
Winter is an excellent time to prune trees because it is easy to examine the branching structure of the tree with the leaves off. Property owners in the City are asked to take a look at their privately-owned trees and see if they are maintaining proper clearance above the sidewalk and street. If a street sign, such as a stop sign, appears that it may be obstructed by leaves once they come out, homeowners should prune to clear the obstructing branches. City personnel will take care of City-owned trees.
Alleys which run behind some properties in the City also require vegetation maintenance. A typical alley is at least fifteen feet wide and should provide sixteen feet of clearance. Homeowners are asked to prune or remove necessary vegetation along their adjacent alleyway if these standards aren’t being met.
Some trees, like oaks, should only be pruned during winter dormancy. If a property owner is thinking of pruning oak trees, or removing oak trees for building a new home, it should be done now. Oaks are susceptible to a disease called oak wilt which is nearly always fatal and difficult to control once established. It is recommended people stop pruning, wounding, or cutting oak trees from April through July. A more cautious approach limits pruning until October 1.