Improper pruning can damage trees and shrubs on your Portland or SW Washington property

General Tree Landscaping

Pruning is complicated as not all trees require the same pruning methods and frequency.

Many people wait too long while others prune their trees and shrubs every year, even when it’s not needed. The result is that people trimming their own trees and shrubs may not be aware they are causing damage to their landscape.

General Tree Service has certified arborists that prune trees and shrubs throughout the Portland Oregon and Vancouver Washington metro area so no damage will be done. Please contact us to answer any questions or to schedule an estimate with one of our tree professionals.

Just a note to let you and your company know how very pleased I was with all the aspects of dealing with the tree pruning. You were on time and very efficient with the work you did.

My neighbor was so impressed with your men’s work when they came onto her property that she gave me a check for my favorite charity. I will be recommending your company to my friends and family.

- Donna W., Beaverton

Why is pruning trees and shrubs necessary?

To keep them healthy. A dying branch can be an entry point for insects or diseases which can then spread to other parts of the tree, plant or shrub. The bottom line is pruning needs to be a part of regular maintenance though proper techniques and procedures need to be followed. This is why it’s something best done by trained professionals to ensure all elements of your landscape remains healthy for years to come.

General Tree Pruning ServicesPruning since 1924

General Tree Service has been pruning trees and shrubs in Portland, Vancouver and Salem for over 90 years.

Our services include specialty pruning and shrub pruning, which some tree companies in the area do not offer.

These pruning services require the proper training, tools and an ‘eye’ for what needs to be done. From detail pruning to production fruit tree pruning, our professionally trained arborists follow the ANSI guidelines set forth by the TCIA.

Satisfaction Guaranteed

As an accredited TCIA (Tree Care Industry Association) company, our goal at General Tree is to perform pruning of the highest quality.

We have a commitment to work with you to create a beautiful and healthy landscape, which includes all your trees and shrubs.

Our experienced team is led by Dave Gaugel who oversees that the work done at your residential or commercial property is up to the high standards of General Tree Service. After all, our job isn’t done until you are completely satisfied.

Speciality Pruning from General Tree Landscaping Services

Specialty pruning by Portland tree care professionals

To keep the trees and shrubs in your landscaping looking their best while maintaining their health, contact us to schedule a free estimate for pruning. We also have landscape and lawn maintenance packages as well as plant health care programs to keep everything looking wonderful all year round.

Detail pruning for high value trees

This is our highest quality pruning that brings out the unique aesthetic characteristics of a tree or shrub while maintaining its structural integrity to nurture its overall health. This may consist of crown cleaning and crown thinning to help reduce insect and disease infestation while also improving its appearance.

Containment pruning

Similar to what it sounds, this involves removing branches that are obstructing sidewalks or encroachments on roads, buildings or other plants.

Structural pruning

This is done on young trees to assist in developing good structural form so they grow up healthy and strong. When performed properly, structural pruning will result in a sound, balanced crown and can even reduce the need for future maintenance so pruning may not need to be done as often.

Vista pruning

Vista pruning often means utilizing practices such as severe crown reduction that are not recommended because it can have a damaging effect on the long term health of a tree. General Tree prefers to use alternative methods. For example, we may remove selected limbs to create “windows” for view. Taller trees may need to be removed to ground level.

In some species, sprouts will grow from the stump thus preserving many roots which then continue to help stabilize slopes. As these sprouts reach heights that threaten the view, the process is repeated. Using this approach, the land maintains its natural appearance throughout every season. Selective cutting and/or windowing can also be more economical over the long term.

General Tree Fruit Tree PruningPruning fruit trees

There are two types of fruit tree pruning depending on whether or not production of fruit is a priority. Here's a description of each type so you can learn the difference between the two.

General Tree Fruit Tree PruningProduction fruit tree pruning

The height is pruned and contained in order to maximize fruit harvest. The sides of the canopy are pruned to promote strong structure and lateral branching (branches grow out to the sides). A full canopy of foliage is maintained to help prevent sun scalding of the upper branches.

Ornamental fruit tree pruning

While the tree will still produce fruit, the goal of this pruning is to maintain the tree’s structural ornamental beauty. The tree is allowed to grow to its mature size and shape in order to amplify its decorative contribution to the landscape.

Pruning shrubs should be part of landscape maintenance

General Tree Landscaping

Detail pruning

This is the highest quality of pruning available and performed on plants which are the centerpiece of your landscaping. It involves crown cleaning to decrease disease and insect populations and improve plant health.

It utilizes crown thinning throughout the entire plant, even to the branch ends as this kind of detail pruning places the emphasis on the aesthetics of the plant.

Hand pruning for best results

Hand pruning is utilized to contain and prune the plant to its natural shape using hand tools. Visible dead and/or diseased wood is removed, leaving the plant with the natural appearance typical of its species. Hand pruning is preferred over shearing for many species of plants as it’s better for health and appearance.


With this method, we trim your shrubs using power shears to contain plant size. Only 1 or 2 years' growth is removed so the plant has a smooth formal appearance.


This process uses power shears to reduce the size of plants that have outgrown their planting area so up to 4 years of growth is usually removed. Some temporary browning of the plant is common until new growth emerges.

Rejuvenation pruning

Only recommended for some species of shrubs or plants, this process removes one-third of the canes of the shrub to revitalize growth.

TCIAPruning techniques for healthy trees & shrubs

As long-standing members of the TCIA, our staff always follows the industry and ANSI guidelines for pruning as well as all tree care. For example, all branches are cut so damage to the branch collar and bark ridge do not occur.

This stimulates proper and more rapid callusing over the pruning wound and lowers the chance of decay. Tree wound dressings are not used because research has shown they are unnecessary and may even be harmful.

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