cutting off the side branches of a felled tree.

limbing (Wikipedia)
Limbing a pine tree, 1978

Limbing or delimbing is the process of removing branches from a tree trunk.

In logging, limbing occurs on standing or felled trees.

In fire prevention, limbing occurs on live trees to prevent the branches from being a fuel ladder, which is a term for vegetation that allows a fire to climb from the ground into the tree canopy. A California fire prevention guide recommends to "Remove all tree branches at least 6 feet [1.8 meters] from the ground" and "Allow extra vertical space between shrubs and trees."

In British English, limbing can be synonymous with snedding. Alternatively, limbing can be used to describe the operation on larger branches, and snedding on smaller.

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