Often overlooked, Pruning young trees, known as developmental or formative pruning is performed to encourage the development of proper structure to ensure that young trees have desirable branch architecture and structural integrity later in life. Proper structural pruning of trees when they are developing, reduces the potential for premature failure or costly supplemental support as your trees mature. Trees evolved in forests where they tend to grow straight with a single lead and shed lower branches as they grow due to competition for sunlight. When planted in full sun in the landscape, many species tend to develop multiple stems/leaders that are more prone to failure as the tree matures. Lower branches tend to grow at the same rate as the terminal leader that results in weak attachments and poor trunk flair that also are likely to fail later in the life of the plant. Structural pruning of trees when they are young and developing, is critical to ensuring a strong framework for future growth and is one of the best investments that can be made in the health and longevity of landscape trees.