- A branch is dead
- A branch of sufficient size to cause injury is cracked or decayed
- A weak branch union exists, and one of the branches can be removed
- Branches form a sharp angle, twist, or bend
- A branch is lopsided or unbalanced with respect to the rest of the tree
- A broken branch is lodged in the crown. Remove the branch and prune the stub.
Pruning smaller trees can sometimes be done by clients. If you want to learn how to prune your trees correctly, we can set up a time to teach you the appropriate methods. However, ISA Certified Arborists should only prune a larger tree. Professionals must maintain trees with the knowledge and understanding of how trees will respond to these wounds, how much to take, when to take it, and why. Properly early in its life is an excellent way to avoid many potential problems when the tree is older and more significant.
Remove the Tree
Before cutting a tree down, carefully consider the alternatives. The effects of removing a tree are often pronounced in landscape situations and may result in reduced property values. Tree removal should be regarded as the final option and used only when other corrective actions will not work. Tree removal is dangerous and even more serious when homes and other targets are involved. Removal of trees is usually the job of a professional.
Cabling and Bracing
Cabling and bracing do not repair a tree, but when done correctly by a trained ISA Certified Arborist, it can extend the time a tree [ or its parts ] are safe. Done incorrectly, it creates more risk. Therefore, we do not recommend cabling or bracing as a treatment for trees unless the tree has significant historical or landscape value.
Topping and Tipping - Poor Pruning Practices
Topping is the practice of pruning large upright branches at right angles to the direction of growth, sometimes used to reduce the height of the crown. Tipping is the cutting of lateral branches at right angles to the direction of growth to reduce crown width. Both of these practices are harmful and should never be used. The inevitable result of such pruning wounds is decay in the remaining stub, which then serves as an inferior support to any branches that subsequently form. Trees that are pruned in this manner are also misshapen and esthetically unappealing.
Evaluating and treating trees is complicated, requiring specific knowledge and expertise. If unsure, have your trees assessed by an ISA Certified Arborist, a Qualified tree risk assessor. Then, consult your local ISA Certified Board Certified Master Arborist. Remember that trees do not live forever. Design and follow a landscape plan that includes a maintenance and replacement cycle. This is the best way to preserve the health of our trees and ensure a safe and enjoyable outdoor experience.
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