Pruning is a widely observed mechanism for developing nervous systems to refine their circuitry. During metamorphosis, certain Drosophila sensory neurons undergo large-scale dendrite pruning to remove their larval branches before regeneration of their adult dendrites. Dendrite pruning involves dendrite severing, followed with debris removal. Little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying dendrite severing. Here, we show that both the Ik2 kinase and Katanin p60-like 1 (Kat-60L1) of the Katanin family of microtubule severing proteins are required for dendrite severing. Mutant neurons with disrupted Ik2 function have diminished ability in severing their larval dendrites in pupae. Conversely, premature activation of Ik2 triggers precocious dendrite severing in larvae, revealing a critical role of Ik2 in initiating dendrite severing. We found a role for Kat-60L1 in facilitating dendrite severing by breaking microtubule in proximal dendrites, where the dendrites subsequently separate from the soma. Our study thus implicates Ik2 and Kat-60L1 in dendrite severing that involves local microtubule disassembly.