What To Know About Landscape Tree Shapes

Posted on: 27 January 2021

In addition to considering tree sizes, you may also want to consider each tree's natural shape when planning landscape design and care. This can help you determine the best placement and pruning schedule and technique for the tree. Here are some of the basics of tree shapes and how these shapes may affect your landscaping.

Trees have several categories of shapes

The shape of a tree tends to fall into one of a few different categories. Some basic tree shapes to look for include v-shaped, pyramidal, round or oval, and columnar trees.  

A tree's basic shape (assuming the tree is in good structural condition and hasn't been pruned oddly) will typically be determined by the type of tree it is. You can look up the varieties of trees you have in your yard to learn more specifics about their shapes. Your tree trimming expert can also help you out with information on the shapes of your trees.

Pruning varies based on shape

Some tree shapes tend to take specific types of pruning better than others. For instance, a tree that's pyramid-shaped may become structurally unsound if you cut back the tree's central stem. That's because the tree will replace the central stem (also called a central leader) with multiple weaker branches in an attempt to survive.

Your tree trimming expert can help you identify the best types of pruning for each tree based on its shape and other factors.

Siting and care varies based on shape

Different tree types may have different needs based on their shapes. For instance, some types of trees may have a relatively flat, spreading type of shape. These types of trees may be unsuitable for placement next to your driveway since they could block traffic due to their low branches. 

Purpose and ornamental uses vary based on shape

When you're designing a landscaped area, tree shape is an essential consideration. Think of your favorite flowerbed and how its visual lines would change if you added a columnar Norway Spruce tree. These trees are very tall and thin and can add a starkly vertical aspect to the landscape.

Now think of how the visuals would change if you add a small flowering dogwood instead. The dogwood has a more rounded shape, meaning the visual lines will be gentler. While trimming your tree into different shapes can change its visual outline a bit, these differences will typically still be present so you should consider them at the planning stage.

These are some of the basics you need to know about the different general shapes that your tree's crown may have. For more information on trimming for different tree shapes and varieties, contact a tree trimming service today.