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Arboriculture & Urban Forestry Online
Volume 28, Issue 3 — May 2002

The Effect of Pruning on Service Requests, Branch Failures, and Priority Maintenance in the City of Rochester, New York, U.S.    (View PDF)

Christopher J. Luley, Susan Sisinni, and Andrew Pleninger

Abstract: The effect of pruning on service requests, branch failures, and priority maintenance was evaluated in the City of Rochester, New York, U.S., using 8 years of historical data on street trees. Pruning, which was completed on a management unit basis, was evaluated by comparing pruned and unpruned management units. Analysis of service request data showed that pruned management units had lower forestry-related requests and fewer pruning-related requests from the public but not lower requests for branch-failure-related maintenance annually or during high wind events. Analysis of work history or work completed showed that pruned management units had lower priority maintenance after pruning but not lower branch failure rates. Branch failure rates averaged 7.6 and 6.5 failures per 1,000 trees annually when based on requests and work completed, respectively. On the average, branch failure rates during the leaf-on period were three times greater than when foliage was not present. These results will help other communities compare the relative effectiveness of their pruning program and provide a branch failure probability for managed street trees.

Keywords: Pruning; service requests; branch failure; street trees; tree hazards; wind damage.

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