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Each View restoration situation is unique. In order to reasonably restore a view without unnecessarily damaging or sacrificing trees, it is important to appreciate the desires of each party while understanding and preserving the form and growth habit of the disputed tree or trees.
The guiding principle of tree pruning for view enhancement is to work with the natural branching habit of the tree. Avoid stubbing cuts (topping) and excessive thinning; either of these practices results in over-pruning. Trees may die from over-pruning or respond with rampant growth of weakly attached branches which quickly obscure the view again.
Several techniques, used alone or in combination, comprise excellent view restoration strategies. Crown thinning and creating 'windows' are the two pruning techniques which provide the benefits of both views and vegetation. Selective removal of branches by these techniques provides, in the first case, a filtered view, and, in the second, a view as seen through a window in the tree canopy. These two pruning techniques, if properly done, restore views with the least amount of injury to the tree itself and to the role it playing in the landscape.
Other modes of view restoration are crown reduction pruning or even tree removal. Crown reduction can reduce the overall height of the tree with appropriate thinking cuts. Crown reduction is not the same as topping!
DO NOT TOP TREES!
The growth that may follow develops into weakly attached limbs. These limbs have a strong tendency to break from the tree. Topping stresses the entire tree, leaving it susceptible to disease, insect infestation and death.
Tree Removal followed by the planting of another tree in a different location on the property may be, in some cases, the only reasonable option. Alternatively, a more suitable tree may be planted at the site of the tree that was removed.