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How to improve your pruning skills and techniques: 5 common pruning mistakes and how to correct them
Pruning is done for several reasons, from enhancing the tree’s shape to removing damaged growth and reducing the size of the plant. However, regardless of the reason, tree pruning must be done correctly to ensure a tree’s health and continuous growth. We have highlighted five common pruning mistakes you must avoid to maintain healthy trees.
Pruning Without Purpose
- Trees should always be pruned with a purpose. The specific objective could be removing dead branches or enhancing fruit or flower production. The key to goal-oriented tree pruning is to achieve the desired outcome without compromising the overall health and growth of the plant. However, opting for pruning without a clear goal can lead to unnecessary damage, as improper and excessive pruning can result in damage that requires significant time and effort to fix.
In addition, it could cause irreversible harm to the tree. Therefore, carefully considering the purpose and potential consequences before pruning decisions is crucial. Nevertheless, proper pruning leads to healthier and more robust plants.
Improper Pruning Cuts
- Making proper cuts is essential for the health and vitality of a tree when it comes to pruning. Unfortunately, improper cuts such as flush cuts- trimming too close to the trunk or stub cuts- trimming too far from the trunk can result in severe and irreversible damage to the tree. A flush can remove the branch collar, leaving a large wound on the side of the tree that cannot heal effectively.
The absence of the branch collar disrupts the tree’s natural healing process, leaving it vulnerable to infections and decay. On the other hand, a stub cut leaves behind a significant portion of dead wood which can decay and extend back into the root collar and even the trunk. These cuts make the tree susceptible to further damage, disease, and even death.
Excessive Pruning During The Growing Season
- Heavy pruning can pose a risk to a tree’s growth and health. Excessive pruning during the growing season from spring to late summer can result in negative consequences. It can starve the tree by removing too many leaves, depriving it of food production through photosynthesis.
In addition, summer is a time when droughts are common, and an over-pruned tree becomes more susceptible to water deficiency. Moreover, heavy pruning can expose shaded bark to intense heat, leading to sunscald and potential damage. Therefore, avoid heavy pruning during the growing season to maintain the tree’s health and resilience.
Using Dull Use Of Blunt Tools
- While using blunt tools for tree pruning may seem common, it can lead to substantial damage. Pruning activities with unsharpened tools can result in crude or improper cuts. This may tear or shred the bark, consequently causing larger wounds.
Excessive pruning throughout the year
- While excessive pruning during the active growth season can be harmful, it should be noted that over-pruning at any time of the year can induce stress in a tree. This can render a tree more vulnerable to diseases. Therefore, it is essential to remember that each pruning cut carries significance because every cut is a wound to the tree.
By removing branches, valuable resources are depleted, future growth is impacted, and the tree’s capacity for photosynthesis is diminished. Moreover, pruning creates entry points through which wood-decay fungi can enter the tree and cause internal decay. Several improper pruning cuts can ultimately lead to tree death.
If you are looking for the best pruning and tree removal services for your trees, contact American Tree Experts Inc today. We are a group of tree experts working in Montclair, New Jersey. Call us today at 973-744-6091, and we will give you a fantastic quote for free.