tree diseases and the symptoms to watch for

tree diseases and the symptoms to watch for

Four Tips To Ensure Your Springtime Tree Pruning Does More Good Than Harm

Wesley Perry

Pruning your trees in the springtime can help stimulate healthy growth, increase air circulation through the branches, and in the case of fruit trees, increase fruit production. But if you don't prune properly, you could actually be doing more harm than good when you cut off a tree's branches. Here are four tips to ensure your pruning session does more good than harm.

Sharpen your shears first.

If your shears are not sharp, they will essentially rip and tear through the branch instead of cutting it cleanly. This rough cut will be harder for your tree to heal, and doing so may weaken the tree. You can get shears sharpened at many hardware stores. Get into the habit of having yours sharpened each spring before your pruning session. If they don't make their way through a branch in one swift cut, they're too dull and need to be sharpened (or replaced) again.

Leave about an inch of the branch behind.

Many homeowners assume they need to cut the branches off so that they're flush with the main trunk. However, you're better off leaving about an inch of the branch behind. This is because this first inch or so of the branch contains a higher concentration of vascular tissue. If you cut through this area, which is known as the branch collar, your tree will lose more sap, which is not good for its health.

Cut older branches first.

Before you start cutting any newer growth branches to amend the tree's shape, take a good survey of the tree's overall makeup. Use a piece of chalk to mark all of the older-growth branches that you want to remove. (Older growth branches have little to no green and have thicker, rougher bark). Once you've removed these, you can start removing younger branches only if needed to increase air flow or maintain the tree's shape. By following this strategy, you avoid accidentally removing mostly new growth and little to no new growth.

Prune early in the season.

You want to prune in the early, early spring (or late winter) before buds start emerging on the tree. If you wait until the buds appear, the tree will be more actively circulating water and sugars through its branches, and trimming it will weaken its health.

If you are inexperienced with pruning, consider hiring a tree care expert to do your trimming for you. This way, you know the job is done properly and your tree won't be harmed. Contact a business, such as ISA Texas Chapter, for more information.   


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tree diseases and the symptoms to watch for

Do you love the trees on your property? Are some of the trees looking as if they are not as healthy as they once were? Do the smaller trees get enough sun to grow tall? Sometimes, trees can develop diseases or become infested with insects that can cause them to die. If you catch these diseases and infestations early, you can oftentimes save the tree, or the surrounding trees. To learn what to look for on your trees, visit my website. There, you will find a long list of diseases and the symptoms to watch for to protect your trees from destruction.