How To Care For and Protect Your Trees
How Much Pruning Should Be Done?
The amount of live tissue that should be removed depends on the tree size, species, and age, as well as the pruning objectives. Younger trees tolerate the removal of a higher percentage of living tissue better than mature trees do. An important principle to remember is that a tree can recover from several small pruning wounds faster than from one large wound.
A common mistake is to remove too much inner foliage and small branches. It is important to maintain an even distribution of foliage along large limbs and in the lower portion of the crown. Over-thinning reduces the tree’s sugar production capacity and can create tip-heavy limbs that are prone to failure.
Mature trees should require little routine pruning. A widely accepted rule of thumb is never to remove more than one-quarter of a tree’s leaf-bearing crown. In a mature tree, pruning even that much could have negative effects. Removing even a single, large-diameter limb can create a wound that the tree may not be able to close. The older and larger a tree becomes, the less energy it has in reserve to close wounds and defend against decay or insect attack. The pruning of large mature trees is usually limited to removal of dead or potentially hazardous limbs.
If you have any questions about pruning just give us a call and we will be happy to help you make the right decisions.
Protect Your Trees From Lightning
Although a typical lightning bolt contains 5 20 kilowatt hours of electricity, it is the duration of the lightning bolt that determines how destructive it will be. “Cold” bolts are characterized by high electrical current and extremely short duration. One of these penetrating to the heart of a tree can convert it to kindling instantaneously. “Hot” bolts are of lower electrical current but slightly longer duration. They are likely to set things on fire. In fact, this is the source of approximately 7,500 forest fires in the US each year.
We typically only hear about instances when lightning strikes people and buildings. However, an arborist can tell you that trees are the most common victims. Most lightning bolts pass through trees on the way to the ground. This is because trees contain a lot of water and water is a better electrical conductor than air. The tree trunk in particular contains a high concentration of water near the cambium – just under the bark. As the electricity from the lightning surges through the water in the tree trunk, it causes it to boil explosively, blasting off the bark, and sometimes throwing pieces over a hundred feet.
Lightning can immediately kill trees or weaken them so severely that they are then attacked and killed by boring insects or other secondary invaders. In some cases, lightning struck trees must be removed due to structural degradation caused by the heat and mechanical forces generated by the electrical charge.
If you have trees that are at risk of lightning strikes. We will be happy to come out and take a look and help you make the right decisions to protect your valuable trees.