Whether you have a small tree in your front yard or an old tree that needs pruning, learning some basic techniques from an arborist will help you maintain your trees properly.
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Pruning is an important part of good tree care. It enhances the beauty of a tree and helps keep it healthy and strong. However, improper pruning can also harm a tree and reduce its landscape potential.
The first step in pruning is to remove broken, crossing, diseased or pest-infested branches. This can be done in the spring, summer or winter depending on the type of tree and pruning goals.
After these cuts are made, stand back and evaluate your work. Are there any additional corrective pruning cuts necessary? If so, delay making them until the following year.
Next, consider the dense “branch collar” that forms around the base of a branch and helps support it. The larger the branch, the more dense this collar becomes. This collar also serves as a protective barrier that protects the trunk against wood-decay fungi.
When pruning, make sure to cut just on the outside of this collar and not on the inside. This will help the tree seal the wound and encourage rapid healing.
In addition, avoid cutting a branch to where the collar meets the bark of the tree, since this will cause a serious trunk wound. The wound will be more difficult to heal and will allow decay-causing fungi to invade the tree’s trunk.
A second important pruning technique is called thinning. It can be done to rejuvenate growth, increase the size of a shrub or improve the overall appearance of a plant. It can be performed by hand or with a machine, depending on the desired results.
During this process, a lateral bud (also known as a terminal bud) is removed from the branch to which it is attached. This may result in new side buds developing, but they will be much weaker than those growing on the original bud.
Another technique is called heading, which severs a shoot or stem that is no more than one year old. Heading is usually used for maintaining shrubs, such as forsythia and privet.
Reduction pruning, on the other hand, is more appropriate for reducing the height or spreading of a plant. This is typically done for utility line clearance, to clear vegetation from buildings or other structures or to improve the appearance of a plant. This method also strengthens a plant by forcing diameter growth of remaining branches, which in turn strengthens the root system.
Identifying Tree Problems
Trees are one of the most important ecosystems in nature, but they also need a lot of attention and care to keep them healthy. They help us in many ways, from providing oxygen to storing carbon dioxide and moving water. However, they are vulnerable to diseases and pests that can harm them. Once you notice unnatural spots and marks on your tree, it’s time to consider tree care services.
As such, it’s crucial for us to identify tree problems as soon as possible so we can start treating them and minimizing losses. This is where tree specialists come in.
In order to identify a tree’s problem, you should take a good look at the entire canopy of the plant and look for any cracks or exposed areas that could be a sign that the tree is not well. You might also want to inspect the trunk for any signs of damage, such as fungus or discoloration on the bark.
Whether you’re a homeowner, a property manager, or a business owner, it’s crucial to know how to identify tree problems and what steps you should take to solve them. This way, you can protect the health of your trees and ensure that they stay healthy for years to come.
Another important thing to note is that you should always seek the advice of a professional tree specialist in the event of a problem. They have the expertise and training to help you identify the source of the problem, as well as provide you with a plan of action for treatment and maintenance.
If you notice a tree in your yard that is growing abnormally, or if the branches are starting to droop, it’s likely that you’re dealing with a tree disease. This is because tree diseases can be triggered by insects and fungi, as well as other factors such as storms, drought, and air pollution.
These issues can be dangerous, so it’s important to get them checked out by an arborist as quickly as possible. You don’t want to risk the safety of your family, home, or community by letting a tree fall on your property and hurt anyone in its path.
Treating Tree Diseases
Trees are a valuable part of any landscape, but they can also be a source of disease. Treating them properly is essential to their health and safety, and a tree care professional can help with this.
There are many different types of diseases that can affect trees, and identifying them is the first step in diagnosing a problem. Once identified, you can work with your ISA Certified Arborist to determine the best course of action for treating them.
Phytophthora root rot is one of the most common tree diseases and can be fatal if left untreated. It is caused by fungi that infest soil and prevent water and nutrients from getting to the roots of the tree.
If you see wilting or yellowing leaves on your trees, check for Phytophthora root rot. This is a fungal infection that is most common on trees that grow in poorly drained areas, such as near downspouts or areas where soil compaction has been a problem.
Infected roots may swell and appear as red or purple, and the fungi may be able to get inside the tree’s bark and cause damage. These fungi can also spread from the root to the branches of the tree, which will then die.
These fungi can be prevented by maintaining healthy soil with plenty of air space. In addition, keep the soil in your yard free of weeds and other plants that can create an environment conducive to fungal growth.
Another important factor in preventing tree diseases is proper planting and maintenance techniques. Make sure that you are choosing the right tree for the site and planting it at the correct depth. If you plant a water-loving tree at the wrong depth, it can become a victim of root rot, which is an extremely serious issue for any landscape.
Fruit or ornamental cherries, plums and apricots are susceptible to this type of infection. The fungi that cause this disease are called Apiosporina morbosa, and it can be spread by wind and pruning tools.
This fungal pathology can result in brown or black hard galls that form on the tree’s trunk and bark. The galls can swell to about 1/8 inch in diameter. They usually develop within two years, and after that, they will gradually dissipate and return to normal.
Keeping Trees Healthy
Trees add natural beauty and shade, reduce air pollution, and improve the value of your property. But they also need care to remain healthy, vibrant and strong. Luckily, modern arborist techniques make it easier than ever to keep your trees in tip-top shape.
The first step in keeping your trees happy is choosing the right species for your area. Whether you want a tree to provide shade, privacy or energy reduction, a professional arborist can help you choose the best option. They can even recommend which species are most suited to specific conditions.
Some trees are sensitive to a variety of environmental factors, such as high winds, salt spray, drought, and competition from other plants. Identifying these factors and avoiding them can save your tree from suffering serious damage or even death.
Another important part of a healthy tree’s lifecycle is the soil it lives in. It must be free from compaction, which prevents oxygen from entering the root zone. The roots need oxygen to absorb the nutrients in the soil and withstand stress.
Soil testing is a critical part of identifying problems that may be affecting your tree’s health. Arborists use test kits to evaluate soil pH, phosphorus, nitrogen, calcium and potassium. Some test kits even provide a visual representation of the level of soil nutrient content in your tree’s root system.
Using this information, you can determine which techniques to use when caring for your trees. This includes making thinning cuts (removing whole branches at the base) instead of heading cuts, which can improve the strength and structure of your trees.
It’s also a good idea to check your tree for signs of pests and diseases, such as discolored leaves, cankers, holes, or decaying wood. This will help you spot problems before they get out of hand and can avoid the need for costly and dangerous treatments.
ISA Certified Arborists are well-trained professionals who have extensive experience and knowledge of how to safely and effectively work with trees. They’re required to meet a number of educational and examination requirements, and they often participate in continuing education courses to maintain their qualifications. Depending on their area of expertise, they may specialize in pruning, removing trees, planting, or dealing with disease issues.