upward view of trees

Tree Removal Vs. Tree Pruning: How to Choose the Right Option for You

You want the best for your landscape but the care of your Louisville, KY trees can be complicated. You might feel overwhelmed about making the best decisions that will help preserve the health (and safety) of your property’s trees.

Fortunately, you don’t have to figure it all out yourself. We can help guide you toward the best options so that you can continue to properly care for your trees.


One question that you might be asking is do I need tree removal vs pruning? If you have a tree that seems to be declining or is struggling in some way, you might be wondering if you can preserve it with pruning services or if you need to have it removed.

While this decision is really a case-by-case situation, we can at least provide some guidance that will help you better understand what might be right for you. Read on to learn more.

Tree removal vs Pruning 

These are obviously two very different services. When it comes to tree pruning, we are talking about the skilled removal of diseased, decaying, or dying branches to help improve the overall health of the tree. 

When you get rid of these weakened or sick limbs, it allows your tree to direct energy into healthy growth. This improves both the health and the safety of your tree as problematic limbs can lead to trouble. 

Excellent pruning is both an art and a science as there are very strategic decisions that need to be made in regard to which cuts will benefit the tree the most. There are also multiple pruning techniques that can be used depending on your tree’s conditions.

Boom Lift Bucket Arborist Chainsaw Pruning 1

Tree removal, on the other hand, involves removing the entire tree. 

The decision to remove a tree might be made if a large portion of the tree is struggling. If there are numerous diseased limbs or a disease or pest infestation has taken over the majority of the tree, removal might be your best option.

Small Tree Removal Clean Up Arborist 5
Sometimes storm damage can lead to tree removal as well. If multiple limbs are hanging or there has been significant structural damage, it might not be worth the risk of attempting to preserve its health with pruning.

Is My Tree Dead?

Making the pruning vs. removal decision isn’t always an easy one, particularly if you really don’t want to lose your tree. A big consideration will be whether or not your tree can recover from whatever has harmed it in the first place.

We’ve written an entire article on the reasons why a tree might need to be removed. These include the following:

  • The tree is showing signs of dying (such as dropping large branches)
  • The tree shows severe dieback at the ends of most of the branches
  • The tree is leaning dangerously
  • The tree is completely infested with pests
  • The tree is diseased 

While some problems can be remedied, a tree care professional can help you determine whether removal is your best option.

In a lot of cases, this helps with peace of mind. You just want to feel confident that you’re making the best decisions for your property. 

If a tree professional does determine that your tree needs to be removed, you want to make sure that it’s done properly. 

Tree removal is intense and complicated work and can even pose some risks. However, a qualified company that takes all of the necessary safety precautions will ensure that risks are mitigated and your tree is removed safely.

tree crew ground assistant

Tree removal vs Pruning for Aesthetics

While we often talk about tree removal in regard to diseased or dying trees, we know that sometimes there are other reasons why homeowners want to consider tree removal. This includes aesthetics.

Sometimes, a tree just isn’t growing in the best location. Nobody likes to have to remove a healthy tree but if it’s close to power lines or a home, it could be the safest course of action to take it down. 

We know that homeowners often feel nervous during storms when they have large trees near their homes. That’s a valid concern, too. Every year trees cause millions of dollars in property damage from storms. You could always have a tree care professional evaluate your tree for safety if you’re worried. Then, they can help determine whether pruning or removal is your best course of action.

Tree removal vs. pruning is also sometimes considered in regard to growing grass. If you are struggling to grow grass on your Louisville, KY property because it’s too shady, you might be looking to get more sunlight. Pruning is sometimes an effective enough solution that light can reach your grass.

Tree Canopy 4
However, if you have a very shaded property with a lot of tree cover, you might need to consider removal to get the best results.

We’re Here to Help

At the end of the day, it’s going to come down to your specific wants and needs. Every property is unique and will require an individual solution. Fortunately, you’re not on your own when it comes to making these decisions. A tree expert can help.

In many cases, it’s a matter of peace of mind. Not knowing whether or not a tree needs to be removed can be really stressful. But with a trusted tree care professional involved, you can let go of those worries and rely on their expertise. 

If you’d like to learn more about tree services for your Louisville home, get in touch, get your quote, and get back to enjoying your yard.

Get a Quote

Chris O'Bryan

Chris O'Bryan

Chris grew up in Louisville, KY. He holds a Forestry degree from the The University of Kentucky and a Master's Degree in Economics from Clemson University. He is a Certified Arborist and 5-time Kentucky Tree Climbing Champion. When not at work, he has fun with his family, enjoys traveling, one-wheeling, and working in his yard.

Related Posts