Tree Maintenance

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.

Tree Pruning For Beginners – June 2019: Part 6

Pruning cuts should be made so that only branch tissue is removed and stem tissue is not damaged. At the point where the branch attaches to the stem, branch and stem tissues remain separate but are contiguous. If only branch tissues are cut when pruning, the stem tissues of the tree will probably not become decayed, and the wound will seal more effectively.

To find the proper place to cut a branch, look for the branch collar that grows from the stem tissue at the underside of the base of the branch. On the upper surface, there is usually a branch bark ridge that runs (more or less) parallel to the branch angle, along the stem of the tree. A proper pruning cut does not damage either the branch bark ridge or the branch collar.

A proper cut begins just outside the branch bark ridge and angles down away from the stem of the tree, avoiding injury to the branch collar. Make the cut as close as possible to the stem in the branch axil, but outside the branch bark ridge, so that stem tissue is not injured and the wound can seal in the shortest time possible. If the cut is too far from the stem, leaving a branch stub, the branch tissue usually dies and woundwood forms from the stem tissue. Wound closure is delayed because the woundwood must seal over the stub that was left.

The quality of pruning cuts can be evaluated by examining pruning wounds after one growing season. A concentric ring of woundwood will form from proper pruning cuts. Flush cuts made inside the branch bark ridge or branch collar, result in pronounced development of woundwood on the sides of the pruning wounds with very little woundwood forming on the top or bottom. As described above, stub cuts result in the death of the remaining branch and woundwood forms around the base from stem tissues. When pruning small branches with hand pruners, make sure the tools are sharp enough to cut the branches cleanly without tearing. Branches large enough to require saws should be supported with one hand while the cuts are made. If the branch is too large to support, make a three-step pruning cut to prevent bark ripping.

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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