The Proper Way To Prune
Tree Pruning is a science just as much as it is an art form. There is a method to what our arborists do. Unfortunately there are a lot of bad pruning practices that other companies use. Making the proper cuts can ensure a healthy and vigorous tree. Proper cuts also allow for the tree to heal properly. This is why hiring a certified arborist is essential to guarantee the right cuts will be made in the right places. Along with the knowledge needed to know what cuts to make, proper tools and equipment are need to avoid making damaging cuts to the tree. By reading this article you will be prepared when your tree is due for a pruning.
Does Tree Pruning Damage Trees?
As stated above, pruning is meant to improve tree health and is not meant to diminish it. The problem lies with the method used to prune. Please note that a pruning cut is a wound. The difference is this wound heals differently than a wound on a person. Trees compartmentalize wounds and contain it within the tree forever. So in short, it is a slap on the wrist temporarily to ensure a healthy and vigorous tree throughout its life. It is like disciplining a child’s bad behavior early on to establish good behavior throughout their life.
Making The Proper Cut
In order to make the proper cut, you first need to know where to cut. Understanding the different attachment points of the tree will prevent any cuts that do more harm than good. The branch collar surrounds the branch attachment to the tree’s trunk. Damaging this part of the tree is an issue because it contains trunk and parent branch tissues. The goal is to make the cut on the outside of this branch collar so that the wound can heal properly. Now that the area has been determined, the use of proper tools will ensure that the cuts do not damage the tree.
There is no one size fits all when it comes to tools. One tool might be better for a certain tree depending on the age and size. For a larger tree, a pruning saw or pole pruning are necessary to achieve desired results. For younger trees, a bypass hand pruner or pole pruner can be used since the branches are much smaller in diameter. These specific tools allow our arborists to assess a variety of situations and treat every tree with unique care.
Improper Pruning Practices
If left to the wrong hands, pruning can go wrong quick. Bad practice is far too common and mostly caused by poor training. As stated above, proper tools are essential to pruning. Investing in these tools will make all the difference in how you care for your trees. In other words, call a professional if you see someone using hedge shears to prune your tree. Another harmful mistake commonly made is the use of climbing spikes. At Ahlum & Arbor, we have professional climbers that use roping to anchor themselves in a tree and climb to heights of 80 feet without leaving a mark.
As stated above, making a cut within the branch collar will damage parent tissues. A rip cut will also cause unnecessary damage to your trees branches. This occurs when a cut is only partially made. After this, the pruner tears the rest of the branch off. Not only is this not aesthetically pleasing, but it causes a lot of damage to the branch.
Now that you are informed on how a proper cut should be made, we have provided you with multiple resources that go further in depth as to what a tree expert looks for when pruning. You would be amazed at the attention to detail our arborists have that ensure you are in good hands. You will also be interested to know that a tree will only need minimal cuts annually to keep it growing well.
As always, feel free to give us a call if you have any questions or if you need to find an arborist near you.