Source pruning is performed whenever the data rate of the compressed source exceeds the available communication or storage resources. In this paper, we propose a framework for rate-distortion optimized pruning of a video source. The framework selects which packets, if any, from the compressed representation of the source should be discarded so that the data rate of the pruned source is adjusted accordingly, while the resulting reconstruction distortion is minimized. The framework relies on a rate-distortion preamble that is created at compression time for the video source and that comprises the video packets' sizes, interdependences and distortion importances. As one application of the pruning framework, we design a low-complexity rate-distortion optimized ARQ scheme for video streaming. In the experiments, we examine the performance of the pruning framework depending on the employed distortion model that describes the effect of packet interdependencies on the reconstruction quality. In addition, our experimental results show that the enhanced ARQ technique provides significant performance gains over a conventional system for video streaming that does not take into account the different importance of the individual video packets. These gains are achieved without an increase in packet scheduling complexity, which makes the proposed technique suitable for online R-D optimized streaming.