National Pruning Standard Revised – First Revision Since 2008

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A300 (Part 1)-2017 Pruning standard revision was recently approved by ANSI and published by the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA).  This is the first revision of the standard in nine years.
The national pruning standard provides parameters for pruning and tree trimming practices for trees, shrubs, and other woody plants.  The standards also provide a specification writing guide for pruning operations. These standards, when implemented, help the user specify industry standard pruning operations as well as quality control work to see if industry standards were followed.

A300 Part 1 Pruning includes:

  • Pruning objectives
  • Pruning systems
  • Pruning specifications
  • Pruning cuts
  • Pruning practices
  • Palms and similar plants
  • Pruning definitions

A300 Pruning standards recognize, but are not limited to, the following pruning objectives:

  • Manage risk
  • Manage health
  • Develop structure, such as to: Improve branch and trunk architecture Promote or subordinate certain leaders, stems, or branches; Promote desirable branch spacing; Promote or discourage growth in a particular direction (directional pruning); Minimize future interference with traffic, lines of sight, or infrastructure, or other plants; Restore plants following damage; and/or, Rejuvenate shrubs.
  • Provide clearance, such as to: Ensure safe and reliable utility services; Minimize current interference with traffic, lines of sight, infrastructure, or other plants; Raise crown(s) for movement of traffic or light penetration; Ensure lines-of-sight or desired views; Provide access to sites, buildings, or other structures; and/or, Comply with regulations.
  • Manage size or shape
  • Improve aesthetics
  • Manage production of fruit, flowers, or other products
  • Manage wildlife habitat

ANSI A300 standards are written for federal, state, municipal and private entities including arborists, property owners, property managers, and utilities engaged in the management of trees, shrubs, or other woody plants. These standards are considered the final authority in civil courts and by most dispute arbitration systems. This revised A300 Part 1 Pruning standard takes precedence in the USA over previous pruning standards or other pruning best management guides for tree, woody shrub and vine management.

To order a standard for only $20 per copy, call TCIA at 800-733-2622.  For more information about these standards, email Bob Rouse, Chief Program Officer:

About the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA):

TCIA is a 73-year-old public and professional resource on trees and arboriculture. It has more than 2,300 member companies who recognize stringent safety and performance standards and who are required to carry liability insurance. TCIA has the nation’s only Accreditation program that helps consumers find tree care companies that have been inspected and accredited based on: adherence to industry standards for quality and safety; maintenance of trained, professional staff; and dedication to ethics and quality in business practices. TCIA also serves as the secretariat for the ANSI A300 series of Standards for Tree Care Management (ANSI A300 Parts 1 through 10). A300 standards are developed by the A300 committee (ASC A300).