is a Tree?
tree is a complex, living organism. There are many different definitions
for a tree and for each you can probably think of some exceptions.
Webster's defines a tree: 1a: a woody perennial plant having
a single usually elongate main stem generally with few or no branches
on its lower part. It also defines a shade tree: a tree grown
primarily to produce shade.
it can be said that trees:
- Are perennial
long life spansHave woody
for protectionHave leaves
to produce their own food
- Have roots
to gather water and mineral nutrients
Improper Pruning or Trimming
Pruning is the art of sculpting. Leaving the tree as close to
its natural shape as possibly at the same time making it safe, healthy,
and pleasing to look at.
The tree's natural
shape is there for a reason. The root system will always produce
and pump up nutrients to feed the entire tree. Large lower limb
removal is very bad for the overall health and safety of the trees
existence. These large limbs consume large amounts of nutrients
to stay alive. If removed, the nutrients will be forced to the remaining
upper structure by the pumping action of the root system. This causes
the remaining parts of the tree to grow, sometimes 3 to 4 times
faster than normal, making all the limbs longer and heavier at the
ends. In a very short time, breakage can occur of these now disproportionately
sized limbs. Removing the downward growth on these lower limbs and
light thinning of the remaining portion is the proper method of
arborist societies world wide.
usually removes 60 to 70% or more of the tree's limbs. Under proper
pruning methods, only 25 to 30% is the recommended amount of
foliage to safely remove from any tree. Santa Ynez Valley Tree Care
does not practice lion tailing and never removes more than 30% of
foliage from any tree. Proper tree maintenance usually takes a little
longer and requires a skilled eye. The reason for this is more of
the beautiful limbs are left on the tree and lightly cleaned rather
than removed. The cleaning of each limb is time consuming, and time
When is the
Best Time to Prune Trees?
trees does not have to be limited to fall or winter. Granted fall
and winter are good times to prune as some trees are dormant.Birches, dogwoods,
elms, hackberries, magnolias, maples, poplars, walnuts, willow,
and a few other trees are known as "bleeders". When these
species are pruned in late winter or early spring, the wounds may
bleed. This flow of sap is more unsightly than damaging to the tree.
In fact , sap at this time of year is roughly 98% water and 2% sugar,
so little energy is lost through a bleeding wound. The sap flow
will taper off and cease as the new leaves turn dark green and harden.
Pruning these trees could be delayed until the leaves turn dark
green and harden if you have aesthetic concerns.
There are some
species of trees susceptible to insect infestations and should only
be pruned in winter when the smell of bleeding wounds will be lessened
due to a lessening of sap flow. Insects are able to smell this sap
sometimes for miles. Such is the case with conifers - pine, juniper,