Pruning Mature Trees

Pruning is a common if not neglected part of healthy tree care. Trees in the forest have their own way of pruning themselves such as limb die off and falling to the ground. We will also have this same natural selective process in our yards, if left unattended, however, we don’t want to see trees full of dead limbs nor have branches falling on our homes and cars below. Many injuries and deaths have occurred due in part to poor tree maintenance.

Proper tree maintenance can improve the health of the tree, improve aesthetics and create a safer tree by opening up the canopy preventing wind damage and hazardous branches.

Because each cut has the potential to change the growth of the tree, no branch should be removed randomly. In most cases mature trees are pruned for corrective or preventative reasons. A qualified professional will assess the overall tree condition and develop a plan for that tree. Remove branches that touch and rub, opening up the canopy and letting in more light, reducing the foliage to relieve stress on the roots having to sustain unnecessary leaves and branches, especially in a high stress condition. Remove redundant branches and branches growing back, inward, to the center of the tree. Clean out dead limbs and hazardous branches as well as note damage or decay up in the tree not visible from below. A well installed and placed tree may still need some pruning to shape and guide the tree to fit the surrounding structures.

Most routine pruning can be done any time during the year with little effect on the tree. As a rule, growth is maximized and wound closure is fastest if pruning takes place before the spring growth flush. Sap is flowing heavily at this time and will also leak from the wounds more during this time. Although the wounds will drip and sap will run, there is now damage from this condition. Pruning of some oaks and maples should be avoided at this time and during high spore transmission periods because the excessive open sap and transmit disease between trees more easily.
Also heavier pruning just after the spring growth should be avoided. Trees have just put a lot of their energy from the roots to the new growth and removing excessive leaves and branches can stress the tree. Allow some time for the new growth to harden off before a vigorous and excessive pruning program.

The benefits to a tree maintenance program are numerous!! Don’t delay and get a plan for your trees. You’ll see the benefits immediately and the trees will thank you!!

Tip; Add Bayer All Tree Protection to your trees for a systemic control to protect your trees through the season before the damage occurs.

Walter Falls