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27 Sep 2017
Fall Tree Care

Best Ways to Care for Your Trees During the Fall

Who says the gardening season is over once fall arrives?

Autumn is still actually a good time for planting trees. It’s also the season wherein plenty of nuts and fruits ripen. But if there’s one important thing that every tree owner should do when autumn arrives, that would be preparing their trees for the upcoming winter.

To ensure that your trees will survive the winter, it’s crucial that you prepare them ahead for what’s coming.

Are you all set? Here are the steps:

  1. Inspect Your Trees’ Leaves

Once you have noticed that the leaves of your trees are turning slowly to the color of the season, then that’s the perfect time to inspect them for uneven hues and defoliation. Both of them are actually signs of tree problems like nutrient deficiency, pests, and diseases.

The appearance of mushrooms during fall is not really a problem unless there are a lot of them appearing near the trunks. This could be a sign that the roots are decaying.

  1. Evaluate the Soil

Have you had the soil in the vicinity analyzed? If not yet, then consider doing it this season. Have your soil analyzed. That way, if there is a nutrient imbalance in your backyard, you can instantly apply the needed fertilizer before winter comes rolling in.

  1. Spray Anti-Desiccant on Leaves

Water loss is one of the major reasons why trees suffer during winter. With limited water to absorb, trees are left without resort but to use the water they’ve stored in their stems and leave.

One way of avoiding water loss is through spraying anti-desiccant on the leaves. This will provide leaves with a waxy layer that will keep in moisture.

  1. Mulch

Don’t wait for winter to come before you start mulching your trees. As early as today, mulch the surrounding of your trees to trap warmth and provide trees ample time to grow and absorb nutrients and water.

During the winter, the mulch will provide protection against the harsh weather and reduce water loss. It is absolutely important that you also mulch newly planted or young trees since they do not have enough defense mechanisms yet to weather the harsh season.

When it comes to mulching, distribution is critical. Recommended thickness of the mulch is one to two inches. Placing too large a mound is not advisable because it can provide a place for bacteria and fungi to flourish.

  1. Prune Your Trees

Pruning also plays an important role in tree care during fall. Basically, there are three different types of pruning that should be done during this season:

  • Pruning branches that died during summer
  • Doing structural pruning
  • Pruning to reduce the size of the tree

To properly prune your trees, make sure to talk to a professional arborist, especially if you are not familiar with pruning techniques and methods.

  1. Check for Pests

Even when the climate has turned cooler, pests can still wreak havoc on your trees. Mites, spider mites, stink bugs, and boxelder bugs can definitely damage your trees.

Applying a systemic insecticide is one of the best ways of getting rid of pests. You’d also be glad to know that this kind of method can actually protect your trees for up to 12 months.

  1. Protect Your Trees

And of course, let’s not forget to protect our trees that are susceptible to high winds, salt, and the southwest sun. By just wrapping the trunk of a tree with a trunk wrap, or even paper and polypropylene, it can go a long way of upping the chances that your plants will emerge from the winter as robust as ever.

 

Why is fall tree care important?

Because your trees are still recovering from the extreme heat during the summer season and yet in a few weeks, they’ll be encountering cold weather. If you want your trees to recover from the summer heat and survive the winter season, then providing them with every essential nutrient and protection is absolutely helpful.

More info:

http://payment.americanarborists.net/services/spring-and-fall-cleanup/

http://payment.americanarborists.net/services/tree-health-care/

 

Stocksnap.io photo by Ben Regali

13 Apr 2017
how-to-not-kill-your-tree

It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time… How to (Accidentally) Kill a Tree

Don’t you just find it alarming and depressing when trees inside your property inexplicably start to die?

How can huge and towering trees simply die without any apparent reason? Well, there are actually a bevy of reasons why trees wither and die. But are you aware that there’s a chance that homeowners can inadvertently cause their trees to die?

In this article, we want to share with you five ways that you can accidentally kill a tree. Here they are:

 

Staking and Girdling the Tree

A lot of people use stakes and rope to support their tree’s growth.

But guess what?

Trees only need support for a short period of time. When you stake a tree too long, it can damage the bark and cause abnormal trunk growth. Moreover, it can also make the tree become top heavy.

The same is true when you girdle a tree.

Surprisingly enough, plenty of people also think that they are doing the tree a favor by wrapping its bottom part with plastic. They believe that this is enough to protect the tree against the sharp edges of some gardening tools like lawn mower blades. Unfortunately, doing this will sometimes suffocate the tree and/or encourage the growth of harmful microbes.

 

Soil Compaction

Does this sound familiar to you?

Probably not.

The same with staking and girdling trees, only tree experts know that soil compaction can eventually kill your plant.

In case you have forgotten, plants do not just gain much-needed sustenance through their leaves, they also rely on their roots.

Unfortunately, when the soil gets compacted, water can’t be effectively absorbed by the roots. Usually, when homeowners plan to build improvements in their yard, they forget to consider the effect that it will have on their trees. Most are oblivious to the fact that sometimes, compaction can cause the soil to be so densely packed that the earth can’t effectively absorb rain and nutrients from the topsoil. In other words, your trees will be cut off from all the necessary resources that they need to grow healthy and strong.

 

Filling Tree Holes with Concrete

Back in the days, tree cavities and hollows were filled with concrete in order to strengthen the tree trunk.

But is this really an effective remedy?

Unfortunately, it has already been proven to cause more injury to the tree instead of helping it heal faster. The concrete inside the tree will prevent water and air from being absorbed. Additionally, there’s a chance that the stiff concrete column inside the tree hollow will trap in microbes causing rot to spread through the rest of the plant from the inside.

As always, tree cavities are best healed without your intervention. Let the tree heal itself, or avail of the services of a tree health specialist.

 

Not Pruning the Trees Properly

Before we go any further, let me just ask this to you: Do you know when is the right time to prune your trees?

Probably not, unless you are an Arborist or you are interested in learning everything about tree care.

There are some tree species that should only be pruned during autumn, while there are other species that will die if they are not pruned during springtime. The point is, you have to know the right time when to safely prune your tree. Trees that aren’t correctly pruned become vulnerable to parasites and diseases. As a matter of fact, improper pruning is the top cause of death among trees.

Still not convinced?

One of the worst forms of improper pruning is known as topping. This type of pruning refers to haphazardly cutting to completely get rid of the tree’s crown. This will not just cause physical trauma and cut off your tree’s nutrient source, your tree will also have to divert all its regenerative capabilities to replace all the lost branches and leaves.

 

Improper Care

And of course, not properly taking care of your trees can  make them vulnerable to parasites and diseases. See to it always that you are providing your trees with the proper amount of water and fertilizer. Spray regularly with pesticide as well.

A caveat: When it comes to using pesticides and herbicides make sure that you have sought the opinion of tree experts before using them.

If you love having trees in your home, then the least thing that you can do for these majestic natural air cleaners is to take care of them properly and consider their space and nutrient needs in every improvement project that you do with your property.

More info:

Tree Removal

Tree Health Care

Pixabay.com photo by RyanMcGuire

13 Mar 2017
What is an Arborist anyway

What Is an Arborist, Anyway?

Everything You Need to Know about the Profession and the People behind It

 

Do you have an idea what an Arborist is, what they do, and why should you hire them?

An Arborist is a specially trained professional who deals with the art and science of planting, caring, maintaining, and diagnosing trees, shrubberies, and other woody plant life. These professionals have spent time and effort mastering their craft to properly and effectively manage the growth and development of trees.

Sometimes referred to as a tree doctor or a tree surgeon, Arborists are often called upon to help assess the condition of trees, provide diagnosis for potential diseases, and offer their recommendations on how to properly care and maintain the plants.

In addition, Arborists are also asked to provide specific services such as tree pruning and trimming, drought mitigation, fertilization, insect and disease control, as well as to help layout preventive care for trees prior to the arrival of the spring season, known as seasonal tree care.

 

That’s right. Arborists are the defenders of trees.

They recognize the value that these majestic plants add to the environment, as well as your personal property. Did you know that by merely planting a tree in your property you significantly add to its resale value? Yes, provided that it’s planted the right way, in the right location, and is well-maintained and cared for. And who better to do all those things than a well trained Certified Arborist?

 

What is a Certified Arborist?

A Certified Arborist is someone who has gained extensive training, experience, and a high level of knowledge in the art and science of arboriculture. These professionals must also go through a comprehensive examination that will enable them to become Certified Arborists, if they pass.

 

Now get this.

Certified Arborists must continue to master their craft long after they receive their certification. This is so they can be constantly up-to-date with the latest technologies and techniques in the field of arboriculture if they wish to remain certified professionals.

Therefore, if you’re thinking about hiring a tree pro to take care of and maintain your trees, a Certified Arborist is the way to go. Anyone with a chainsaw can chop up tree branches and limbs and call it pruning. It’s the knowledge and expertise in the proper way of pruning, trimming, and removing trees that really makes a difference.

 

Why Hire an Arborist and What Can They Do for You?

Here’s the thing:

If you don’t have trees in your property, then perhaps you won’t need to hire an Arborist. But then again, if you want to add beauty and value to your property, maybe hiring an Arborist to help you decide which trees to plant isn’t a bad idea.

On the other hand, if you already have fully grown trees and you want someone to check on their condition, then you definitely need to contact a Certified Arborist in your area.

Here are some of the services that Arborists can provide:

  • Tree Planting It takes a lot of knowledge and expertise to properly plant trees. You have to think about the right location to plant it (taking into account its size when fully grown), the right tree species to plant that’s appropriate for your region, as well as the care and maintenance it requires especially during the early stage of development.
  • Tree Pruning – There are specific techniques and methods that go into proper tree pruning. Additionally, there are a variety of reasons why pruning a tree is necessary, whether it’s disease, storm damage, safety, or esthetics. A Certified Arborist can help assess the tree’s condition and determine whether or not it needs pruning.
  • Tree Care and Maintenance – Trees require care and maintenance on a regular basis, especially for preventive purposes prior to winter and for assessment purposes after the cold harsh season, to check for potential damage and to help the tree recover quickly.
  • Tree Removal – Most people seem to think that there’s not much to tree removal. Any tree company or service can do it. Here’s the thing though: For most tree professionals, tree removal is usually the primary solution when dealing with trees that have sustained damage.

For an Arborist, however, tree removal is treated as a last resort. The first thing that goes through their mind is how to save the tree. Not how to remove it.

 

More info:

Wikimedia Commons photo by Pete Chapman

07 Mar 2017
Why-Is-Pruning-Your-Tree-Important

Why Is Pruning Your Tree Important?

A Closer Look into the Significance of Tree Pruning

 

Do you want to know why some of the trees in your neighborhood look so vibrant and beautiful? Have you ever found yourself wishing that the trees in your property can achieve that magnificent look?

Trees are among the most magnificent living objects found in nature. They can make any landscape look serene and brimming with life. But as beautiful and majestic as they are, they require a bit of care to maintain their appearance. And one of the maintenance processes that a tree requires is pruning.

 

What is pruning?

Pruning is a tree care and maintenance procedure that involves cutting and removing specific parts of a tree, such as dead or diseased branches, buds, and even roots. When done correctly, pruning has many different benefits, which will be discussed later on. What you need to know, however, is that pruning doesn’t just benefit the tree but the people around it as well.

 

Key Reasons for Pruning a Tree

There are plenty of reasons to prune a tree. Most tree professionals and Arborists often get asked, “Why is tree pruning important in the tree care and maintenance business?” These main reasons should address that particular question quite effectively.

 

1. Pruning for health reasons.

Caring for the health of a tree is important, obviously. Through the pruning process, dead and/or diseased branches can be removed safely, allowing the tree to develop stronger and healthier ones.

There are plenty of reasons why tree branches die or suffer from diseases, but the three most common are lack of sunlight exposure, insect infestation, and storm damage. Exposure to extreme fluctuations in temperature is also a common reason, especially in areas that experience heavy snow storms during winter or extreme heat during the summer.

 

2. Pruning for structural reasons.

Trees need structural integrity, especially the young and still developing ones. Proper pruning can help a young, newly planted tree develop a sturdier structure, stronger limbs, as well as a lush and beautiful form.

 

3. Pruning for safety reasons.

Trees that are planted in residential properties often sit close to man-made structures such as a house, garage, tool shed, as well as foot paths, driveways, and walkways. In some cases, homeowners even use tree limbs to hang a swing for the kids.

Picture this: what if one of the bigger limbs or branches of the tree is weakened by disease or is actually dead? That is a potential hazard that should be dealt with right away. It’s not advisable to tie a rope on a tree limb to use as a swing, but a lot of homeowners still do it.

Moreover, trees sometimes grow so tall or so wide that they can become a fire hazard when they come in contact with power lines. And if a tree limb is hanging over your home, or other structures, a heavy storm could cause it to break and crash into whatever is underneath it.

 

With these three reasons alone, you can see just how important tree pruning is and why it should never be put off.

 

Still not convinced?

 

Okay, here are some of the benefits that you can expect from a proper tree pruning by a certified professional:

 

The Benefits of Proper Tree Pruning

  • It can improve traffic and pedestrian flow. Trees that are located near sidewalks, foot paths, driveways, and bike trails require pruning to remove any runaway branches that may hinder the flow of traffic.
  • It helps ensure a clear view of road signs. Sometimes trees can grow very wide limbs and branches that they can cover street signs, making it difficult for motorists to read or even notice.
  • It helps reduce the occurrence of leaf disease. Proper pruning promotes better airflow through the tree’s canopy, allowing the leaves room to breathe and get rid of excess moisture.
  • It effectively addresses some of the safety risks caused by weakened or damaged limbs. Falling limbs and branches are serious hazards, especially when the tree is located near structures or paths with heavy foot traffic.
  • It reduces the presence of excess shade, which can impede the growth of other plant life around the tree, such as grass and/or shrubbery. It also helps make sure that the lower branches of the tree get enough sunlight and moisture.

 

More info:

Stocksnap.io photo by Steinar La Engeland

04 Mar 2017
Top 4 Myths and Misconceptions about Tree Care

Top 4 Myths and Misconceptions about Tree Care

Are You Certain That What You Know about Tree Care Is Legit?

 

Have you ever found yourself wondering if the trees in your property are healthy and safe for the kids to play under? It’s not uncommon to find different varieties of trees in many residential properties. Trees can add beauty to the landscape. They enhance the ambiance, provide shade from the afternoon sun, and most importantly, add value to your property.

But how much do you really know about maintaining and taking care of trees?

You may find this surprising, but a lot of homeowners who have trees in their property don’t actually know the first thing about tree care and maintenance. Some of them will say they know enough, but do they really? How do you know what is true and what’s merely a myth?

Here are some of the most common misconceptions about tree maintenance you should know about. Hopefully, you can use this information to avoid doing more harm than good to your trees.

Let’s jump right in, shall we?

 

Tree Care Myths and Misconceptions

1. Flush cutting is ideal when severing a branch in order to optimize the healing process.

Here’s the first thing you need to know about trees: they’re not like people. When trees sustain wounds, they don’t heal in the conventional sense. Trees don’t regenerate tissues to heal their wounds like humans do. Instead, trees go through a process of compartmentalization. They generate what is known as woundwood over and around the area of the wound.

Flush cutting is a pruning process that gets rid of the branch collar, resulting in a much larger wound in comparison to simply cutting off the branch outside the collar.

Fact: Flush cutting is not recommended as a pruning technique. It can increase the chance of pathogens worming their way into the tree, rather than optimize its healing.

2. Staking newly planted trees ensures the development of a strong trunk and root system.

In some cases, it is necessary to stake a newly planted tree so that it stays upright and its root system firmly establishes underground. However, you need to realize that this has several adverse effects.

If staking is necessary, the tree should be given enough room for roots and trunk development. Furthermore, the staking materials, such as the wires and ties, should be removed after about a year to avoid girdling.

Fact: A number of studies have shown that newly planted trees that weren’t staked tend to develop a more stable and extensive root system as well as better trunk taper. Trunk damage due to staking materials is a common side effect of improper staking.

 

3. Newly planted trees should be pruned back heavily to counteract root loss.

One of the most common reasons why some experts recommend heavy pruning on newly planted trees is to minimize the amount of water that dissipates from the leaves. Although there is some truth to this, it should be noted that trees require a full crown to quickly generate the much needed nutrients they need to induce root development.

Fact: Trees develop better and establish a more extensive root system when they have a fuller crown. It is best to limit pruning to structural training purposes, as well as to the removal of dead or damaged branches.

 

4. It is best to use tree wrap on newly planted trees to prevent sunscald and insect infestation.

Admittedly, there is some debate going on in the community about the validity of using tree wraps to protect the trunk of newly planted trees. Sunscald is a common occurrence on barks of trees that are exposed to extreme temperatures. It usually appears on the south or southwest side of young trees.

However, studies on the matter have shown that most commercial tree wraps are not that effective in preventing bark damage. In certain cases, the damage on the bark is even worse when tree wraps are used.

Also, using tree wraps to keep insects out has proven to be ineffective. As a matter of fact, some insect species even like to burrow under the wrapping material.

Fact: If you want to protect your trees from extreme fluctuations in temperature, consulting with a Certified Arborist is your best course of action.

 

More info:

Stocksnap.io photo by Sergei Soloviev

 

27 Feb 2017
Three-Hidden-Benefits-of-Hiring-a-Certified-Tree-Service-Pro

3 Hidden Benefits of Hiring a Certified Tree Service Pro

The Advantages of Having a Certified Arborist Work on Your Tree Care Needs

 

There is no question that trees add more than just visual appeal to your property. They also increase its value, so long as the trees are healthy and well-maintained. Spending time, money, and effort on the well-being of your trees can actually be considered as an investment that presents considerable returns for you, the property owner, and for the community as a whole, not to mention all the ecological benefits that trees can provide.

 

But there’s a hitch.

 

A tree that is not well-taken care of, if it’s left unpruned or is ridden with diseases, is a potential liability and an accident that’s waiting to happen. Tree care services and maintenance that are done inconsistently and incorrectly pose serious risks not just to the tree itself, but to everyone who comes near it as well.

Can you imagine having your kids and their friends playing under a tree that has sustained significant winter damage? For all you know its limbs and branches are already so weak that the gentlest gust of wind could cause it to break and fall off. This is why having a well-maintained tree is very important.

If you’re going to hire a professional to work on your trees, you might as well go with the best. And there’s no one better in tree care services than a Certified Arborist.

 

What is an Arborist?

An Arborist is a tree care specialist who can provide for the specific needs of individual trees. These professionals, also known as tree doctors, are masters of the art and science of tree care. Certified Arborists are well-versed and highly-trained in identifying the individual needs of trees, as well as providing care and maintenance to ensure health and well-being for these silent gentle giants.

 

The Benefits of Hiring an Arborist and the Different Services They Can Provide

The benefits of hiring an Arborist may not be as obvious or clear-cut as most people think. The services they provide are not that much different from those offered by most tree care services. However, there are a few notable exceptions, such as the level of knowledge, care, and scientific approach in dealing with tree health care and maintenance.

 

1. Planting Services

This is probably one of the biggest advantages Certified Arborists can provide you. If you want to add value to your property by planting some trees, there is no better expert to approach than an Arborist. He can recommend the right trees to plant, where to plant them, and how to plant the trees safely and properly.

  • Arborists can provide preventive maintenance against infestation and disease, which is crucial to young and newly planted trees.
  • Arborists can lend their expertise on the proper soil aeration techniques to make sure that air, water, and nutrients are efficiently absorbed by the tree’s root system.
  • Arborists can advise proper nutrients for specific tree species.  Soil pH, available organic matter and water make a difference is how provide fertilization programs to ensure the best growth and development.
  • Arborists can help find the appropriate trees best suited to your specific location, as well as provide tips on the proper planting depth and the overall care and maintenance required for the newly planted tree.

 

2. Pruning Services

Any tree company or tree professional can provide pruning services with the proper tools. However, a Certified Arborist can provide you with much more than your basic pruning service. Arborists can . . .

  • Help guide young trees to develop stronger limbs and overall structure.
  • Help remove damaged limbs and branches in a safe and efficient manner.
  • Help find the disease-ridden parts that may compromise the integrity of the tree.
  • Help shape the tree so that it doesn’t interfere with structures.
  • Help prepare the tree for the harsh winter season and help it recover through a tactical pruning approach.

 

3. Tree Health Care and Emergency Services

Preventive care and maintenance are most notably the biggest advantages that a good arborist can provide to tree owners. Despite what you might think, trees require constant care and maintenance, especially during difficult seasons like summer and winter.

Sometimes, a tree may have a compromised structure due to neglect and you won’t even notice it until it’s too late and the tree has fallen over from its roots or cleft into two. Certified Arborists are great at detecting potential problems and providing the appropriate solution before things become worse.

 

Share your thoughts and experiences below by leaving a comment. 

 

More info:

 

Wikimedia Commons photo by Environmenttrees

23 Feb 2017
4-Secrets-On-How-(and-When)-To-Prune-Your-Fruit-Tree

4 Secrets on How (and When) To Prune Your Fruit Tree

Useful Tips for a Successful Fruit Tree Pruning Process

 

Whether you’re dealing with a newly planted fruit tree or merely doing some regular maintenance, one of the most important tree care processes you have to learn is pruning.

 

What is pruning?

Pruning is a process of trimming or cutting away dead or overgrown branches and stems. It can revitalize tree growth and increase its fruitfulness. When trees are left unpruned, particularly fruit trees, growth and development can be hindered, especially when weather factors come into play. Fruit trees will take longer to bear fruit or simply won’t bear any at all.

 

Why Take Pruning Seriously: Key Factors to Consider

 

  • The survivability factor

Trees may look sturdy and robust to most common folks, but they’re actually quite sensitive to temperature changes, the weather, and other external factors. Through the process of pruning, you effectively increase a tree’s survivability, ensuring their growth and development. And by pruning a fruit tree, you practically increase its chances of bearing great quality fruit.

 

  • The stimulation factor

When you prune trees you are effectively stimulating more growth, fruit and flowering trees are most sensitive to over pruning. Removing too much live growth can and will stimulate negative growth in suckers and water sprouts. Suckers grow from the roots, water sprouts are the fast growing straight limbs that are weakly attached adventitious growth that rob nutrients and water from the healthy growth. All suckers should be removed when spotted, some water sprouts can be left it not left in direct composition of proper growing  limbs. Keep to a 20% live material removal, this does not include suckers, dead, broken or diseased branches.

 

  • The proper shaping factor

Most people think that the natural shape of a fruit tree is the most optimum for fruit bearing. The truth is it’s not always the case. If you look at fruit trees in the wild and compare them with those in well-maintained locations, there’s actually a significant difference in fruit production. Well-maintained fruit trees produce more trees than those in the wild. And that’s because of proper and timely pruning.

 

The Basics of Proper Fruit Tree Pruning: Tips on the How and the When

  1. Wait for the tree to become dormant before you start the pruning process.

All trees go into a dormant stage, typically during the fall season and well into winter. One of the most obvious signs that a tree is going into dormancy is when its leaves start falling. Once the leaves are off, and we have had multi cold days and nights it’s the appropriate time to start the pruning process.

Summer pruning can also be performed, but it should only be done in the early part of summer, and limited to suckers,  broken, diseased and crossing branches, especially when dealing with fruit trees.

 

  1. Upright branches produce the most vegetation while horizontal branches bear most of the fruits.

If you don’t know much about fruit trees, there is one important factor you need to understand as far as figuring out which parts of the tree bears the most fruit. The vertical or upright branches typically have the most vegetation and are more vigorous than other branches. However, it’s the horizontal branches that are more fruitful.

The key to a healthy and fruitful tree is a good balance between the positioning of the branches. This is one aspect that can really benefit from a good pruning. Branches growing at a 45° to 60° angle provide the right balance for maximum fruiting.

 

  1. Low vigor and recently planted trees benefit from regular pruning.

Corrective and regular pruning on recently planted fruit trees or trees that are fairly young and have low vigor is highly advisable to encourage strong and rapid growth. Ideally, recently planted trees should be encouraged to grow and develop in the first three years of its life.

Proper methods and techniques should always be observed when planting a new tree. Best tree planting practices will help equalize the development of the top and the root system of the tree.

 

  1. Consult a reputable Arborist to help with the various aspects of fruit tree pruning and maintenance.

When it comes to fruit trees, or any tree for that matter, it’s important to have a tree expert present to help guide you in the right direction as far as taking care of your trees is concerned. And there is no individual more knowledgeable when it comes to trees than a Certified Arborist.

Of all the tips about how or when to prune trees, what the right maintenance techniques are, this is probably the most important secret that’s actually not so secret (when you think about it). Obviously, if you want to maintain a healthy, fruit-bearing tree, you need to hire a professional to help you out.

 

Have any tips to share? Comment below with what’s worked well for you!

 

More info:

 

Wikimedia Commons photo by SeppVei

07 Jan 2017

6 Common Misconceptions about Tree Pruning

You might think you know all about tree pruning. But just so you know, there are plenty of experienced gardeners and tree caretakers who still have no clue regarding what it is really all about and why it is necessary.

As a matter of fact, gardeners and other people in charge of tree care and management have contradictory views and opinion about pruning. Let’s take for example the fact that most of them think that tree topping and pruning are the same. They are not.

Topping is an improper trimming practice that reputable Arborists would not practice, and in fact is illegal by many city pruning ordinances. The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) defines topping as an “inappropriate pruning technique to reduce tree size, cutting back a tree to predetermined crown limit, often at internodes.” In other words – tree topping is bad, tree pruning is good. 

We’re going to debunk some of the common misconceptions about pruning. But before we do that, let’s tackle why pruning is considered essential for growing trees:

  1. Pruning removes diseased, damaged or crossing branches. When not removed, these branches can prove deleterious to the tree.
  2. Pruning prevents can prevent conflicts with structures, walkways, traffic and views.
  3. Pruning can be used to thin the crown of the tree in order to improve air circulation and reduce negative effects of high winds.
  4. Pruning improves tree structure through removal of hazardous branches and suppression of competing branches.

Debunking Pruning Myths

  • Myth #1: Trees Can Perfectly Do Well without Pruning

This is surely the most common misconception people believe concerning pruning. We hate to break it to you, but trees (regardless of what species) need pruning. Failing to prune your trees will not only have a negative effect on their appearance but their health too.

Apart from promoting a fuller appearance, pruning makes the tree grow stronger too. Any Arborist worth his or her salt won’t ever deem this process as an optional one.

  • Myth #2: Trees That Are Pruned Early in the Spring Will Bleed and Suffer from Health Problems

Some species of trees bleed excessively when pruned early during the spring season. However, this bleeding does not do any significant damage to the tree. When pruning trees like birch or maple during spring, don’t panic when they start to exude sap.

  • Myth #3: Cutting Close to the Tree’s Trunk When Pruning Help the Wounds Heal

A proper thinning or reduction cut is located outside the branch bark ridge and branch collar an easily identifyable elevated or humped area near the point of attachment. This region contains the tissues responsible for wound closure. The practice of flush cutting or cutting which removes the branch bark ridge and branch collar remove the trees ability to close the pruning wound and needs to be avoided.

  • Myth #4: Trees Should Not Be Pruned during Summer

This is another misconception that is not altogether true. Some pruning including corrective pruning, or light crown cleaning can be done during the summer months without causing any harm. On the other hand removal of large quantities of live tissue during periods of high temperatures or drought can cause significant stress or decline especially in mature trees. Be sure to consult your ISA Certified Arborist before any significant trimming especially in the summer.

  • Myth #5: Fruit Trees and Shade Trees Can Be Pruned Similarly

Ask any Arborist or a professional tree care management expert and you will immediately know that pruning shade trees and fruits trees in the same manner would be a huge mistake.

Shade trees should not be pruned as heavily as fruit trees. Pruning practices should be based on species and property owners goals, some fruit trees flower on second year growth which would require pruning be done shortly after bud break in the spring to ensure beautiful spring flowers where other species fruit on first year growth, in this case pruning should be done during the dormant season.

  • Myth #6: Root Pruning Will Not Harm the Tree

Removal of substantial roots can cause significant damage, and significantly reduce the trees ability to translocate water and nutrients into the canopy to fuel the process of photosynthesis. Removing even 1 large root could significantly increase a trees risk of failure or decline. Consult an arborist about proactive ways to reduce the conflict of roots with structures or landscape improvements.

 

What are some of the myths you’ve heard about tree pruning? Comment below.

 

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Tree Trimming

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