John Maurice

Vista pruning is the pruning of trees to improve a view or a desired sight line.

In the Lake Norman area it is common that homeowners request the services of a Certified Arborist to vista prune trees in order to improve a view of the lake and golf courses.  There are different techniques that are used when vista pruning; canopy reductions, reduction pruning and selectively thinning interior growth. Reducing the canopy consists of pruning the upper portion of the tree, effectively opening up views above the trees. Canopy reduction works especially well when the desired view is in the distance and the viewing platform – be it a house, deck, patio, etc – is elevated.

Selectively thinning a tree is a common pruning practice, as it improves light and air flow, and can also be used when vista pruning to open up views through the trees. This is common along waterfront properties as well as along fairways of golf courses as homeowners are looking to improve their views without cutting down trees that add both appeal to their property and privacy.  There can also be restrictions and guidelines that must be followed to avoid infractions.

Most healthy trees can be vista pruned year-round depending on the amount being removed, however the dormant season/winter months are the best as it allows the arborist to more easily see the true structure of the tree as well as the desired view.  A higher percentage of canopy can be safely removed during the dormant period as well.  We recommend vista pruning every two years or so, but some properties may need it more frequently in order to maintain those desirable views.