Vista pruning is commonly used jargon in the world of arboriculture, but what exactly does it mean to the interested homeowner?
A vista is defined as a “pleasing view, especially one seen through a long, narrow opening.” (Google) As it relates to tree care, vista pruning is essentially the pruning of trees to create a pleasing view, whether through a series of trees, or over a serious of trees.
In New England it is common that homeowners enlist the services of a tree pruner to vista prune trees in order to improve a view of the ocean, pond, stream, mountain, or various other beautiful settings we are fortunate enough to have in our corner of the country.
There are two main techniques that are used when vista pruning; and they are crown reduction, and tree thinning. Reducing the crown consists of pruning the upper portion of the tree, effectively opening up views above the trees. Crown 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.
Thinning a tree is a common pruning practice, as it improves light and air flow, making for a healthier tree; however, thinning can also be used when vista pruning to open up views through the trees. This is common along water-front properties, as homeowners are looking to improve their views, without cutting down the trees that add both appeal and privacy to their property.
Trees can be vista pruned year-round; however, the winter months are the best for vista pruning because the limited foliage allows for clear sight lines, and the firm ground allows for easier access with pruning equipment. We recommend vista pruning every two years or so, but some properties may need it more frequently in order to maintain those desirable views.