Advanced Tree Pruning For Beginners – July 2019: Part 3

In our efforts to educate and share knowledge for properly pruning the trees on your property, we are continuing with this topic for July.

When to Prune
Conifers may be pruned any time of year, but pruning during the dormant season may minimize sap and resin flow from cut branches.

Hardwood trees and shrubs without showy flowers: prune in the dormant season to easily visualize the structure of the tree, to maximize wound closure in the growing season after pruning, to reduce the chance of transmitting disease, and to discourage excessive sap flow from wounds. Recent wounds and the chemical scents they emit can actually attract insects that spread tree disease. In particular, wounded elm wood is known to attract bark beetles that harbor spores of the Dutch elm disease fungus, and open wounds on oaks are known to attract beetles that spread the oak wilt fungus. Take care to prune these trees during the correct time of year to prevent spread of these fatal diseases. Contact your local tree disease specialist to find out when to prune these tree species in your area. Usually, the best time is during the late fall and winter.

Flowering trees and shrubs: these should also be pruned during the dormant season for the same reasons stated above; however, to preserve the current year’s flower crop, prune according to the following schedule:

Trees and shrubs that flower in early spring (redbud, dogwood, etc.) should be pruned immediately after flowering (flower buds arise the year before they flush, and will form on the new growth).

Using Top Tree LLC
Top Tree LLC is your best choice for any tree stump removal needs in the Tri-Cities. All of our technicians are highly trained and properly certified. We are happy to answer any questions you have now or in the future.

Advanced Tree Pruning For Beginners – July 2019: Part 2

In our efforts to educate and share knowledge for properly pruning the trees on your property, we are continuing with this topic for July.

Pruning Practices That Harm Trees

Topping and tipping are pruning practices that harm trees and should not be used. Crown reduction pruning is the preferred method to reduce the size or height of the crown of a tree, but is rarely needed and should be used infrequently.

Topping, the pruning of large upright branches between nodes, is sometimes done to reduce the height of a tree. Tipping is a practice of cutting lateral branches between nodes to reduce crown width.

These practices invariably result in the development of epicormic sprouts, or in the death of the cut branch back to the next lateral branch below. These epicormic sprouts are weakly attached to the stem and eventually will be supported by a decaying branch.

Improper pruning cuts cause unnecessary injury and bark ripping. Flush cuts injure stem tissues and can result in decay. Stub cuts delay wound closure and can provide entry to canker fungi that kill the cambium, delaying or preventing woundwood formation.

Using Top Tree LLC
Top Tree LLC is your best choice for any tree stump removal needs in the Tri-Cities. All of our technicians are highly trained and properly certified. We are happy to answer any questions you have now or in the future.

Advanced Tree Pruning For Beginners – July 2019: Part 1

In our efforts to educate and share knowledge for properly pruning the trees on your property, we are continuing with this topic for July.

1. The first cut is a shallow notch made on the underside of the branch, outside the branch collar. This cut will prevent a falling branch from tearing the stem tissue as it pulls away from the tree.

2. The second cut should be outside the first cut, all the way through the branch, leaving a short stub.

3. The stub is then cut just outside the branch bark ridge/branch collar, completing the operation.

Pruning dead branches
Prune dead branches in much the same way as live branches. Making the correct cut is usually easy because the branch collar and the branch bark ridge can be distinguished from the dead branch because they continue to grow. Make the pruning cut just outside of the ring of woundwood tissue that has formed, being careful not to cause unnecessary injury. Large dead branches should be supported with one hand or cut with the three-step method, just as live branches.

Cutting large living branches with the three-step method is more critical because of the
greater likelihood of bark ripping.

Drop Crotch Cuts
A proper cut begins just above the branch bark ridge and extends through the stem parallel to the branch bark ridge. Usually, the stem being removed is too large to be supported with one hand, so the three-cut method should be used.

1. With the first cut, make a notch on the side of the stem away from the branch to be retained, well above the branch crotch.

2. Begin the second cut inside the branch crotch, staying well above the branch bark ridge, and cut through the stem above the notch.

3. Cut the remaining stub just inside the branch bark ridge through the stem parallel to the branch bark ridge.

To prevent the abundant growth of epicormic sprouts on the stem below the cut, or dieback of the stem to a lower lateral branch, make the cut at a lateral branch that is at least one-third of the diameter of the stem at their union.

Using Top Tree LLC
Top Tree LLC is your best choice for any tree stump removal needs in the Tri-Cities. All of our technicians are highly trained and properly certified. We are happy to answer any questions you have now or in the future.

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