Routine pruning improves the health of trees and prolongs their life. The removal of weakened, dead, diseased or insect-infected branches that might snap off during heavy winds or ice storms is beneficial in preventing storm damage. Pruning reduces the chance of breaking limbs by decreasing a tree's wind resistance enabling it to move with the wind.
Pruning of large shade trees by the homeowner should be limited to the branches that can be reached from the ground. Large tree pruning is a job that should be left to trained and experienced professionals since it can require climbing, the use of heavy chain saws, and other equipment. Personal safety should never be compromised when pruning a tree. Using improper pruning techniques can expose a tree to disease and can leave it in poor health or dead. Flush-cutting a tree limb or leaving stubs may lead to decay and slow healing of pruning wounds.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
The best time to prune trees depends on the desired results. As a rule, for the Memphis area, late October to early March is the best and most appropriate time to prune trees, this time may vary from year to year depending on the weather conditions.
Generally, if pruning is done before the buds swell, in early spring, this will maximize growth. While the tree is dormant, pruning can minimize the risk of pest problems associated with wound entry. This allows the tree to utilize the full growing season to begin closing and compartmentalizing wounds. Pruning is usually not recommended during or soon after the initial growth flush, as this can reduce plant growth.
During the initial growth flush, the tree expenses a great deal of stored energy to produce foliage and early shoot growth, removal of many live branches at this time can stress the tree.
Pruning during the transmission period can allow spores access into the tree, which can spread diseases such as oak wilt. During freezing and near freezing conditions, transmission of disease is almost impossible.
We use pruning techniques based on the condition and site of a tree and the desired goal of each job. Pruning is always done at branch junctions and according to season and species. Our focus is on maintaining tree health, form, structure and appearance.
Some of the many benefits of pruning:
- Improves a trees structure and helps maintain its health
- Reduction in the level of insects and disease
- Tree defects can usually be corrected with timely pruning.
- Provides storm damage protection
- Keeps sidewalks and roadways clear
- Allows improved light penetration and water distribution
- Properly maintained trees are a valuable asset to your property.
A common practice called "topping" is a severe problem in Tennessee. It is used to reduce the height of trees around utility lines and homes. Topping is not the same pruning method as crown or height reduction and is the most serious wound you can inflict upon a tree. It drastically shortens the life of a tree by exposing the remaining bark to direct sunlight, which can permanently damage or even kill the tree. It removes the tree's main leader and branches, resulting in stobs and disfigured new growth. The initial large wounds never heal properly and subsequent growth is very weak. Topped trees are eyesores that negatively affect the appearance of your landscaping.