(special section on Summer Fruit Tree Pruning at the bottom of page)



        A pruner must literally know what s/he is doing.  There is a correct way to prune and to produce these results.  The correct way is the way that supports the health and beauty of the tree, and that RESULTS in what is desired long-term.  “Pruning” the incorrect way, on the other hand, burdens the tree, makes it look ugly, makes it more susceptible to pests and diseases, and at worst, can cause it to die back some or completely and RESULTS in undesirable regrowth.  It is generally better not to prune than to cut a tree back incorrectly.

Is all cutting of trees “Aesthetic Pruning”?

        No.  Aesthetic Pruning is not to be confused with random heading back/ shearing approach to cutting trees, which destroys the natural healthy growing habit/ shape of the tree, and in its place, causes excessive, rapid regrowth on the perimeter of the plant, which shuts out light to the center of the trees, causing dieback in the middle and lower part of the tree, making it more attractive to pests and disease, and thereby weakening and shortening the life of the tree, and taking away from its beauty. 

Can I see the difference between Aesthetic Pruning and other so called “pruning”?

        Yes!  A very appreciable benefit of Aesthetic Pruning is that it leaves the landscape looking immediately more beautiful (and healthier) than before.  In fact, the yard looks “more beautiful!”, rather than “pruned”.   In most cases, if a yard looks “pruned”, it most likely wasn’t Aesthetically Pruned.   Chances are, the trees/shrubs were randomly headed and sheared, which makes blunt cuts that stand out, compromising the beauty (and health) of the landscape every time is happens, which is quite often since heading and shearing inspires rapid, unruly regrowth.

        True to its name, “aesthetic” in Aesthetic Pruning means ‘Characterized by a heightened sensitivity to beauty.’   Exactly where the cuts are made on the tree, how the cuts are made, with what tool, and at what time of year, is the science of Aesthetic Pruning

Does Aesthetic Pruning take more time?

        Initially, Aesthetic Pruning may take more time because of having to clean up hack “pruning” cuts and to make important decisions about how to get the tree back on track, however because it doesn’t inspire excessive, unruly, rapid regrowth, it takes less time, on the average, to prune trees correctly.  Considerably less time if the tree has never been improperly pruned.  If the tree has been improperly pruned, there is a corrective period, and then when the natural growing habit of the tree is reestablished, it can easily be maintained, and the pruning load is greatly reduced.  Also because Aesthetic Pruning extends the life of trees by making cuts that support its life, rather than compromise it, it saves time and money and heartache in replanting. 

What if my landscape has been pruned in the wrong way?

        It is very relieving for many homeowners to know that most trees that have been incorrectly pruned can be corrected over time with Aesthetic Pruning cuts.



I aesthetically pruned this tree instead of hedging/shearing it in two minutes, as most gardeners would.  This means it looks natural instead of cut back and boxy, and the ‘haircut’ will last much (months!) longer before needing to be pruned again.  Aesthetic Pruning is also much healthier for a tree or shrub than shearing is.



BELOW:  SOME PHOTOS to help you understand Aesthetic Pruning.

BEFORE Pruning

AFTER  about 1 hour of pruning.  

(“What!!   It looks the same to me!”)

I wanted to show these two BEFORE and AFTER’s because although they look nearly the same (at a glance) on the outside, about 1.5 hrs. of work was needed and done on this tree, mostly on the inside, to clean it up and give it a healthy structure.

This is a very common situation.  On the outside everything looks fine, but on the inside, it is a recipe for decline.  A closer look inside is needed to see what is really going on.

The below BEFORE photo is that “closer look” inside to show you what I’m talking about----and then the AFTER photo to show you what was done to support the health and beauty of this tree and landscape.

BEFORE Pruning

Yikes!  What a mess.

(“Help!  I can’t breathe!”, said the tree.)

AFTER Pruning

Breathing much easier, and looking

graceful and healthy, and flowing with the house.


CLOSER EVEN:  What happens from improperly made so-called “pruning” cuts?  See below:

See the disease (black center) that began after the improper pruning cut, and then travelled all the way down the branch and into the other branch that it attached to (see second photo where I’m pointing)?

1. Improper pruning cut

2. Disease

See the disease spot that made its way down the improperly cut branch to here.



Call Florence today to Aesthetically Prune your 15 feet and under ornamental and fruit trees:   415-342-5349.    


Ahhhh!  That’s better. 

(It took several pruning to get in back in good shape.)


Rangy Rhododendrons.

Aesthetic Pruning

        Aesthetic Pruning is correct, healthy, and beautiful pruning.  It is done to produce desired results.  Whether the desired result is to train the tree into a desired shape to fit its location better, to improve or maintain the health of the tree, to improve the quality or quantity of flowers, fruit, and foliage, to contain energy for the development of flowers, fruit and strong limbs, to increase the vigor of a tree, or to decrease the vigor to maintain a smaller sized tree, one must know what to do and when to do it, to achieve the results that are desired.

Why SUMMER PRUNE your Fruit Trees?

More people know about Winter (Deciduous) Pruning their fruit trees than about Summer Pruning their fruit trees, though both times of pruning are important and necessary for different reasons and proper tree maintenance.  (Citrus are pruned more times per year.)

Summer pruning is done mainly to:

  1. (1)Remove excess spring growth to let more light in to ripen and sweeten the fruit, and increase the size of fruit.

  2. (2)It also helps take unwanted vigor out of a tree, which is crucial for reducing a fruit tree’s size, and maintaining a smaller, more pickable, fruit tree’s size. 

  3. (3)It includes fruit thinning, if necessary, to keep branches from breaking which happens when there is too much fruit on branches.  Fruit thinning also helps create bigger fruit.

  4. (5)Builds on Winter Pruning structure; cuts are made to inspire and develop fruit spurs and fruit branches.

  5. (6) Able to see and take out dead wood in summer, not able to see easily in winter.

  6. (7)This pruning work additionally makes the tree looks nicer and neater as well.

When you don’t Summer Prune your fruit trees, the structural development of the fruit tree is compromised and threatened, as well as the quality of the fruit.  The tree looks unkept as well, of course.  Without summer pruning, it is also hard to impossible to maintain a smaller, more pickable, tree size.  At worst, skipping summer pruning may cost you the breaking of a limb.  If a limb breaks, the structure is heavily compromised temporarily, and maybe even permanently, by causing irreparable damage and disease entry points. 

Call Florence today to Aesthetically Prune your 15 feet and under ornamental and fruit trees:   415-342-5349

Special Section:

“AESTHETIC PRUNING is a winning combination of the artistic skill and eye of the pruner, the essence of the tree/shrub, the science of horticulture AND the needs of my clients and the surroundings.  --Florence Schneider, Aesthetic Pruner

Cyndi Cady, Hobby Farms Contributor, writes on her Mindful Pruning experience with Florence: