The Time to Prune is Fall

August 19, 2004

You may think the approach of fall and the end of the growing season means you can stop thinking about the trees in your landscape. Think again!

Fall is one of the best times to thoroughly examine the safety and health of your trees say tree care experts. Why?

  1. When the leaves are off trees, cracks, defects and deadwood are easier to see.
  2. With winter storms soon approaching, tree hazards should be removed now - before they damage property.

Though most trees can be pruned year-round, certain operations are easier to perform in the fall, while dead branches are easily seen and removed.

Some homeowners may worry that arborists will not be able to determine deadwood on a tree when the leaves are off. To the contrary, this happens to be the best time for an arborist to locate deadwood by looking for changes in color, fungus growth, cracks, and other symptoms, which can help them make this determination. While the leaves are off, the view of the entire tree's architecture is very clear and a thorough check can be performed.

Pruning is much more than the simple act of sawing off limbs. Proper pruning is an art based on scientific principles of plant physiology. At its basic level, pruning trees involves removing damaged, dead, or structurally weak limbs, which will improve a tree's health and reduce the chances of personal or property damage caused by falling limbs. Also, insect infestations are becoming a major concern in our area. Conifers, such as pine and juniper, should be trimmed when their sap flow is low. This also applies to cottonwood, willow, and Dutch elm.

Professional arborists are capable of making trees safer and more attractive by pruning live growth as well. Proper pruning encourages growth, increases flower and fruit production, improves plant health, repairs damage and helps add aesthetic appeal to a tree. Pruning at the right time of year and in the right way is critical, since it is possible to kill a tree through neglect or over-pruning.

Homeowners who would like a professional arborist to assess their trees are invited to contact Santa Ynez Valley Tree Care. Please visit our web site for more information about our company and your trees. We will be happy to assess your short term and long term tree care needs.

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

(805) 688-5580

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