Pruning is the most common maintenance procedure. All pruning should be done with a qualified understanding of how trees respond to each cut. Cuts have to be made properly in order to preserve the trees health. Improper cuts can cause irreparable damage to the tree even causing the death of the tree.
Trees put off branches, limbs and twigs to produce food to sustain its life. They do this efficiently, growing where the tree receives sunlight. This is why you see few limbs in shaded areas of the tree. Pruning needs to be done by an arborist who understands tree biology. Special care has to be taken in the removal of limbs and branches in order for the tree to mend properly. Excessive pruning can also lead to the deterioration of the health of a tree. Correct pruning is done to remove dead wood, crowded branches, limbs that rub together or to reduce risk and hazards.
Time To Prune
When removing weak, diseased or deadwood anytime of year is ok to prune. As a rule,
you maximize the healing process of the tree when pruning is done before early spring.
Making Proper Pruning Cuts
Proper pruning cuts are the most important part of trimming a tree. These cuts should
be made just outside the branch collar. The branch collar contains trunk or parent
branch tissue allowing the tree to heal properly. Heading or more commonly called
topping cuts should never be made as there are no such tissues outside the branch
collar. The tree is unable to heal properly allowing decay and diseases to enter the tree
causing tree health to decline. When you perform a heading cut you remove the Apical
Bud of the branch which causes multiple off shoots to grow at the point of the cut.
Eventually you have numerous limbs growing where once there was only one. Due to
the decay at the heading cut this connection of growth is weak easily broken in wind,
ice or due to its on weight. This causes deformation of the tree and possible damage
to property. Flush cuts are also an improper cut. This is when you remove a branch or
limb flush to the trunk or parent branch. When you make this cut you also remove the
healing tissues that are found in the branch collar.
Reduction cuts should be made back to a sustainable lateral (at least 1/3 the diameter
of the branch being cut). No more that 25% of a trees foliage should be removed in any
one year. Each tree produces its food (starches) through the leaves (photosynthesis).
Also trees store their food through out so any limb removal removes a tree’s reserves.
Excessive pruning reduces food production forcing a tree to access its reserves. Once
a tree accesses all of its reserves the tree will die. This is why it is so important to limit
the amount of pruning annually.
Proper Pruning Techniques
Cleaning - Removal of deadwood, dying, diseased, crowded, weakly attached and low-vigor branches.
Thinning - Select removal of limbs and branches to increase air flow and light penetration.
Raising - Lifting canopies to provide clearance for buildings, vehicles, people or vistas.
Reduction - Reducing the size of a tree.
Disaster Recovery - 24/7 emergency service CALL