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While trees in nature can do just fine without human intervention, in our northern Virginia urban environment they're often stressed to the point that they need our help to maintain their health and form. No one wants a sickly, poorly shaped tree in their front yard!

That's where tree pruning and trimming comes in. If you have any of the following situations, pruning is probably a good option.

  • branches touching or hanging over your roof
  • branches obstructing your driveway, walkway or yard
  • broken or hanging branches that could fall
  • fruit trees that aren't providing many fruit
  • dead, diseased or damaged branches
  • a tree that's too big or blocking your view



We've seen a lot of bad tree pruning that leads to the decline (and sometimes the death) of beautiful trees. It takes professional knowledge and experience to prune a tree properly, using the correct pruning practices, techniques and tools. Our Certified Arborists ensure that your trees are pruned in a way that meets your goals while also protecting the tree. The end result is a healthy tree that will give you years of continued growth and beauty.

Pruning a tree, particularly a large tree, is dangerous work. Residential tree pruning often requires climbing high into the tree while carrying a chainsaw, then leaning out with the chainsaw to make precise cuts that don't harm the tree. This is definitely not something you want to tackle yourself! It's best to leave these types of high-risk jobs to trained professionals who have the safety gear to protect themselves and your property.


The type of tree pruning we do depends on the condition of your tree and what you're trying to accomplish. Generally, it'll fall into one of these options.

Pruning For Crown Reduction

Trees that have been left to grow naturally can sometimes get too tall, too wide or too thick for the space in which they're planted. If you don't want to cut down the tree, then crown reduction may be an option. This type of pruning reduces the overall size of the tree by removing up to a quarter of the foliage from the end of each branch. This isn't the same as "shearing" a tree - it's precision work that cuts each branch at just the right spot.

Pruning To Shape A Tree

Crown shaping is not usually done on larger trees, but it can be helpful with smaller trees, such as flowering ornamentals and fruit trees. A plant that has never been properly pruned is most likely out of proportion and is at risk of losing its natural form forever.

Pruning For Crown Thinning

If there isn't enough sunlight and air flow through the center of the tree, or if there are structural defects or competition between branches in the tree, we may recommend crown thinning. By carefully removing selected branches throughout the tree, we can restore balance to the tree and open it up to stimulate interior growth and reduce wind resistance (which is good for when storms come through).

Pruning For Crown Raising/Lifting

If you're having difficulty walking or driving under a tree on your property, lifting the tree canopy may be a good option. Crown raising involves removing selected lower branches to provide clearance to a specified height. This type of pruning should, if possible be carried out before a tree reaches maturity in order to avoid large wounds.

Pruning To Enhance Your View

If your tree has grown so much that it's blocking your view, we can selectively thin the framework of limbs or specific areas of the crown to allow or enhance your view. Essentially, we open a “window” through the trees for a view.

Pruning To Clean Up A Tree

Trees are living organisms. And like all living things they can be damaged, get sick, and eventually die. We prune out broken, dead or dying, or diseased branches to leave only healthy tree parts. Plus, we remove anything that shouldn't be there, like excessive ivy or other climbing plants, nails, unused or broken cabling, rope swings, and more.

We Don't Top Trees

Green Vista follows industry standards and best practices for tree pruning. That's why we don't top trees - not only is it detrimental to the health of the tree, it also creates a dangerous tree that looks ugly. To learn more about why we don't top trees, here's a good article to check out.


The minimum legal working distance from high voltage power lines going pole to pole is 15ft. To protect the safety of our employees and the community, we must contact VA Power before performing any work within that 15ft distance. Together, we will form a plan of action for completing the work safely. Usually, they will either drop the cables for us or trim the limbs far away enough for us to perform our job safely. This is coordinated through us and you don't need to worry about anything. Please be aware that this requirement can affect scheduling and that we do not control timing for VA Power.

power lines
2016 & 2017 recipient

Call as at 571-244-3838 to schedule your tree pruning / trimming service


Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to your questions about tree pruning and trimming in northern Virginia.

It depends on the age of your tree. Newly-planted trees should not be pruned for the first 2-3 years. 

After that, young trees should be pruned every 2 to 3 years, while mature trees will need to be pruned every 3 to 5 years.

Additional pruning may be done on an as-needed basis. 

Many times, you'll be able to see that tree pruning or trimming would be beneficial. 

For example, branches may be hitting your roof or blocking a walkway, or you may notice dead or broken branches. 

We have an article full of questions to ask before trimming a tree that can help you determine what steps to take. 

Plus, you can always contact us for a tree consultation

Fruit trees need more consistent pruning than other types of trees. 

You can read our article on when and how to prune fruit trees for more information.

Properly pruning your trees provides many benefits. It helps your trees live a longer and healthier life and helps trees that are still growing to develop good branch structure.

Your property value and curb appeal also increase with properly pruned and maintained trees. 

We don't recommend it. Between the heights involved and the dangerous equipment, the chance of injury (or worse!) is high. 

In fact, we have a whole article that explains the risks to yourself and your property: When Shouldn't You Prune or Remove Trees Yourself?

The tree professionals at Green Vista are thoroughly trained in safety procedures for tree care services.

We’re happy to answer any questions you may have and our experienced estimators will be able to walk you through how the job will be done and what it will take to do it right. You may be surprised by just how affordable quality tree work can be in our northern Virginia service area – especially when you compare it to doing it yourself!

We do not top trees. This practice of cutting off the top of trees is detrimental to the tree, ends up costing the homeowner more, and is not considered good practice in the professional tree care industry. 

Learn more about why we don't top trees >>

Yes! With most trees dormant during the winter months, it is an ideal time to prune. 

The lack of leaves on deciduous trees allows us to more clearly view the tree's structure, the frozen ground leads to less damage to your lawn, and most pests and diseases aren't active, so your tree is safe from infestations. 

If a tree or limb is touching a power line, call Dominion so they can evaluate whether it should be removed. If a limb has fallen onto a line, call Dominion to remove it. For safety, do not attempt to remove any trees or tree limbs from power lines yourself!

Read more about what to do about trees near power lines >>


Not sure what to expect when you hire Green Vista Tree Service to prune your trees?




"My yard looks amazing! Even my children noticed the difference with the trees trimmed back and the overgrown bushes/trees removed."

Chantilly, VA

"They cleaned up after themselves so the yard looked better than before they started."

Alexandria, VA