From a certain height or a certain width, trees can become cumbersome, inconvenient and even dangerous if they do not have enough space to grow.
Here are some tips for pruning your tree without causing any harm.
Growth of trees
Visible with the growth rings when a branch is cut off. They are linked to the alternative between spring and summer wood (tighter). Wood is composed of large vessels that provide passage for the sap, from its roots to the leaves. Only the latest, lighter rings perform this function (sapwood). The darker parts are inactive and are considered the heartwood, to ensure the robustness of the tree.
Located at the tip of a stem, the terminal bud is vital to the height growth of your tree. This bud is formed by as mix of miniature leaves and stems, which will grow during spring to form branches that will carry leaves the rest of the year. Axillary buds are located at the base of the leaves and provide branching of the stem or branches.
The tree grows by the end of its branches. A low branch will always be at the same height. For hardwoods, lateral branches elongate proportionately, resulting in an almost rectangular shape in some chestnuts, and almost triangular with lime trees.
Growth boom in hardwoods slows early and lateral branches proportionately more elongate , resulting in an almost rectangular shape more or less globular , ovoid, with some chestnut , almost triangular in lime .
This specific growth provides each tree with a different silhouette (based on the tree development and changes throughout its lives). They’ll end up forming non-identical silhouettes during adulthood. It is essential to take that into account when (re)creating the garden.
It should be added that the shape of the tree is closely related to its location and the space it will occupy during its growth. There’s an equal relationship between branches and roots, as the volume will be identical between the two.
This is why, when you intervene on the aerial/outside part of the tree with severe cuts, there will be a significant rise of sap from the roots to the branches to balance the volume. If this action is too frequent, you can risk depletion of the roots, weakening and even killing the plant.
It is the size of large trees (hornbeam, sweetgum, oak), which combines both general maintenance of the plant and formation of its figure (it is best to preserve their natural harbor, which represents their personality).
Beware of not repeating what is often done in larger cities, with street trees. Pruning is not a killing game, and cutting back branches straight from the trunk is an exceptional case.
It is advisable to attach every branch before cutting, so they can be guided during their fall. If you’re unsure, use a specialized pruning business.
When to prune?
The frequency varies, depending on the age of the tree:
- Every 2 years until age 10.
- Every 4-5 years for trees 10 to 20 years old.
- Every 10 years beyond 20 years of age.
How to prune?
- Eliminate suckers. Cut them as close as possible to the insertion point. Limit their presence by spraying growth inhibitors.
- Ventilate the crown by removing redundant branches. Cutting will allow improvement in light penetration to the tree.
- Remove dead, misguided and dangerous branches.
- Maintain the artificial forms of the tree. Make cuts every year further down the branch to avoid unsightly bulges.
- Reduce the crown of the tree to adapt it to the environment and reduce windage. With major cuts, cover the cut with a healing product to prevent the intrusion of diseases.