Tree Pruning Cycles

Pruning street and park trees is an important component of managing a safe, hazard-free, and less costly urban forest in the long term.  A pruning cycle has been initiated to provide regular maintenance to Fitchburg’s street trees. Ideally, the pruning cycle would be: train pruning 2-3 years after planting and again in 2-3 years; routine pruning every 4 years afterwards; and pruning for hazards or safety when needed.  The plan is to keep our maintenance crews on these cycles during the fall and winter months, but since priority is given to snow removal and clean up, pruning might be delayed in any given year. 
Pruning crews will do the following: 
  • Reduce or remove limbs to train a central leader
  • Remove any large deadwood and crossing branches
  • Lightly thin to allow for light penetration and air circulation
  • Prune broken or damaged limbs
  • Raise the crown to provide clearance for vehicles (15'), pedestrians (10'), signs and street lights (as needed)
  • Note any remedial treatments such as cabling, bracing, fertilization, etc.

Homeowner Requests

To maximize the efficiency of operations, requests for pruning outside of the scheduled cycle should be minimized; resident patience is appreciated until crews can get the entire community on a routine pruning program. However, if you feel your trees need to be addressed sooner, please contact the city’s urban forester, Anna Healy.