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Pruning at Griffith Park

Pruning can determine the life of a tree; whether regular or seldom pruning is practiced, knowing where to prune and why can increase the health and life of tree.

The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), Western Chapter recently embarked on a study of structural pruning, with Edward F. Gilman, Brian Kempf, Nelda Matheny, and Jim Clark, whom have also published a book, "Structural Pruning: A Guide for the Green Industry," the project and book are funded by CalFire.

In response to the book, the Western Chapter ISA hosted a class taught by two of the book's authors, Edward F. Gilman, and Brian Kempf, which both have numerous years of arbor field practice and study.

The full-day class held at Griffith Park, in Los Angeles began with an introduction by Brian Kempf, who taught the importance of pruning at planting, which can impact the life of the tree. Next, biomechanics and the science of tree structure were discussed, as research supports that structural pruning greatly reduces risk in trees. These practices are also helpful in boosting revenue for tree care businesses, by turning a one-time client into a repeat client.

Edward F. Gilman; focused his teaching on pruning methods for tree structure, and covered methods for several outcomes, such as tree health and longevity, slowing tree growth for health, location and aesthetics, and shaping the tree to fit the desires of the marketplace.

Gilman also, shared his studies; by evaluating tree response one year after the pruning methods were put to the test. Class attendees were able to see (with the assistance of slides) how the right pruning techniques can save a tree in a windstorm, or how slowing the growth of a co-dominant leader can change the course of the tree.

The day ended with an outdoor hands-on structural pruning exercise lead by Kempf and Gilman, where class members discussed the best branches to prune the tree, as well as how much to prune, for the best response with regard to tree growth, gravity, and storms.

Two more workshops are available:
Santa Rosa, Wednesday, March 20th 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Sacramento, Thursday, March 21st 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

For those that aren't familiar with the ISA, the association promotes the professional practice of arboriculture through research, technology, and education. The organization is a great resource for arborists, especially those just beginning in the profession, as there are many opportunities for members to network, and gain knowledge from leading industry arborists.

Most course attendees are already certified arborists, but many are looking to take the certified arborist exam, which the ISA offers throughout the year, at various locations.

For more information about the ISA or the certified arborist exam, please visit, to see a list of western chapter events and exam dates, visit

Association news and events are listed at To view the calendar of upcoming events, visit, go to the "Associations/Events" tab and click on "Search for Events."

If your association has news and/or events that you would like featured on, please send your information via email to

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November 20, 2019, 2:04 pm PDT

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