Pruning and care of shade trees
A healthy tree planted where it has room to grow to its natural size and form may need little or no pruning after it becomes established. Yearly pruning during the first few years after planting will often help the tree to become established and to develop a structure that is both strong and aesthetically pleasing. Occasional pruning may be required throughout the life of the tree to remove broken, dead or dying branches or those interfering with pedestrian or automobile traffic. However, once established, most shade trees need not be pruned on a regular schedule.
Archive version. For the most recent information see extension.missouri.edu.