Pruning Your Trees, The S&J Way

Jan 15, 2018

The most common of tree maintenance procedures, careful pruning helps to maintain your trees’ structural integrity, their green good looks. Only a thorough understanding of tree biology. can guide proper pruning, whereas improper pruning can create lasting damage and shorten the tree’s life.
Because each cut has the potential to change the growth of the tree, no branch should be removed without a reason. Dead branches go first, of course. Then your friends at S&J Tree Service will determine which branches should be cut so as to increase light and air penetration both to the inside of the tree’s crown and to the landscape below. In most cases, we prune mature trees only as a corrective or a preventive measure. Merely routine thinning does not necessarily improve a tree’s health.

That routine pruning or the necessary removal of weak, diseased, or dead limbs can be accomplished at any time of year with little effect on the tree. As a rule, however, both growth and wound-closure are maximized if pruning takes place before the spring growth flush.

Some tree diseases — oak wilt, for example — can be spread when pruning wounds allow access to pathogens (disease-causing agents). Susceptible trees should not be pruned during active transmission periods. Trust S&J to know exactly when to cut.

A few terms we use in keeping your trees healthy, safe, and attractive:

  • Cleaning, the removal of dead, dying, diseased, weakly attached, and less vigorous branches from the crown of a tree,
  • Thinning, the removal of selected branches to improve structure, to increase light penetration, and to encourage the movement of air through the crown — thereby opening the foliage of the tree, reducing weight on heavy limbs, and retaining the tree’s natural shape,
  • Raising, removal of the lower branches to create clearance for buildings, vehicles, pedestrians, and vistas
  • Reduction, the diminishing of a tree’s size, often for clearance from utility lines.

A note about this last term, reduction: it’s best accomplished by pruning back the leaders and branch terminals to secondary branches large enough to assume the terminal roles (at least one-third the diameter of the cut stem), whereby the tree retains its natural form, its strength as well.

The previous sentence illustrates why you really should delegate pruning to your knowledgeable partners at S&J Lawn and Tree Service (316-201-6810).

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