Spring Cleaning

February 12, 2004

If you want to do some spring cleaning, keep it simple. Some trees put on a lot of weight in the Spring. All deciduous trees put on the most weight all at once. A lot of this is weight which was lost in the Fall when they went dormant and the sap flow decreased. The leaves lost their food source and dropped off. This also lightened the water weight in the trunk and limbs. These trees often shed limbs in the Spring as the leaf out. They will be heavier each year because the added length of limbs and more leaves. Heavy thinning does not solve this problem. Most tree companies and 95% of the mow and blow companies see heavy thinning as the solution. This practice is common and will in many cases kill the tree over a period of years.

The tree must have leaves to survive. The photosynthesis that occurs in the leaves creates the immune system of the tree. As the tree leafs out, it uses energy from its immune system to produce leaves. This puts the tree at risk to the bacteria and viruses that are airborne and the fungi that exist everywhere in the ground. If the tree is severely trimmed in the early Spring, and more that 25% , it is almost a sure bet it will start to go into shock immediately. Almost all companies are unaware of the process and remove 50% or more the new leaves before they have a chance to replace the nutrients which make up the immune system which protects the above ground portion of the tree and its very important root structure. Excessive trimming not only in the Spring, but also at later times of the year is almost as dangerous for the survival of your trees.

When trees are trimmed, the wounds have to heal. Like the cuts on your body, they will be handled by the immune system. If 75% of your tree is removed, as is the practice of almost everyone in the Santa Ynez Valley, portions of the immune system will be drawn from the hair sized feeder roots of the tree, which provide life-giving nutrition. These roots will then be attacked by fungus in the soil. It will coat them, prohibiting nutrition from entering and feeding the tree. This will starve the tree and create a second set of problems, which if left unattended, will certainly kill the tree. To not create this problem in the first place, call us. We will be glad to share with you the proper pruning methods for Spring Cleaning.

Santa Ynez Valley Tree Care
P.O. Box 1147, Santa Ynez, California 93460

(805) 688-5580

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