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The Wisdom of Knowing When to Prune – The Experts Can Help

Saturday, March 17, 2012 @ 12:03 PM  posted by admin

While the old saying may be true that you can prune a tree whenever the saw is sharp, effective pruning will vary with the seasons and depend on how much of the tree is already pruned away.

Many experts prefer to prune trees in the spring when plants and trees undergo a period of rapid growth and past or present wounds will heal quickly. If your goal is to simply remove dead limbs, or cut away weak or diseased parts of a tree or shrub, it can be done with relative safety any time of the year.

Targeted pruning, the kind that is usually done to thin tree limbs and branches to allow light to pass through, is usually recommended in late winter or early spring. Pruning trees after spring growth may damage trees because it can drain nutrients and stored food that would normally be used for growth––rather than regrowth to replace pruned limbs or branches.

Dutch Elm and Oak Trees                   

Pruning during late summer should be avoided because it tends to stimulate lush growth, which can disturb the trees natural inclination to shed leaves and prepare for winter hibernation. Trees that are an exception to the perfect pruning season include elm, ash and oak. They can be pruned during late summer, fall or winter to avoid Dutch elm or wilt oak disease. Insects can easily spread diseases where fresh wounds occur. If your property has Ash trees that are under stress, you should avoid pruning during June or July to avoid ash borer infestation.

Birch and Maple Trees

Pruning in early spring will cause birch and maple trees to “bleed” clear sap. While such bleeding doesn’t cause any significant harm, there is a concern of tree owners over the sap loss. Trees should be pruned after your trees have fully leafed out.

Tree Topping

Topping should always be done with the advice of a tree expert. Why? Because the process can leave large stubs that attract insects and disease. Topping also has a tendency to remove leaf-bearing branches. And leaves sustain the tree’s root system by manufacturing food. Weakened and dying roots are subject to attack from disease and organisms.

Here are four things to consider about tree topping:

  • Topping can rot your trees – Trees can mount a defense when side branches are removed, but have a difficult time rebounding from topping.
  • Topping can starve your trees – Trees can starve without an adequate number of leaves.
  • Topping results in weak limbs – New limbs that sprout from topped areas are usually weaker and can present dangerous conditions years later where rain and snow are seasonal.
  • Topping can create extra wind resistance – Thick growth is usually the result of topping, which can lead to additional wind resistance that increases the likelihood of trees blowing over.

Do you have trees or shrubs on your property that need pruning, you don’t have to worry about going it alone. At Wauson Tree Service, we adhere to strict ISA standards, whether it’s for pruning, tree removal, cabling or fertilization. And we employ industry experts who use top-of-the line equipment. The results are outstanding. Give us at 214-450-8720 call or email today at Walt {at} wausontreeservice {dot} com, for a free estimate.






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