Lateral Pruning

The old method of tree topping is no longer recommended by horticulturists and other professionals in the field, such as the National Arbor Day Foundation, The International Society of Arboriculture, and the National Arborist Association. Tree topping or “rounding over” can lead to decay, disease, insects, fungi, and may threaten the life of the tree. Weakened trees are more likely to break during wind, ice, and snow storms.

Lateral, or natural trimming is the method used by line crews in most utilities. Lateral trimming is utilized by BrightRidge. The name “lateral” is derived from the method of cutting branches back to natural strong points on the tree, such as the juncture of the trunk and major limbs. Re-growth occurs with lateral trimming; however, branches tend to grow away from power lines and profuse sprouting of new limbs into power lines is avoided.

Lateral Cut

"V" Prunning“V” pruning is used for fast growing trees located directly under power lines when removal or crown reduction is not an option. No branches are left hanging over the lines with V pruning.

Side PrunningSide pruning involves pruning the branches growing toward the lines on one side of the tree only. Any tree that has its base located 15 feet or more away from the center line of BrightRidge conductors will be side pruned.

"L" Prunning“L” pruning is practiced when tree limbs cannot be pruned to a suitable lateral. This method of pruning involves pruning the branches which grow toward power lines on one side of the tree only.

For more information about lateral pruning, visit these sites: