Monday, March 8, 2010

“Pruning Cuts –Avoiding the Big Ones”

Question: was this pruning cut a mistake? You judge.
Driving home yesterday, I spied upon this extreme pruning cut (see photo). The tree pruner may have read the chapter in the pruning manual about cutting a damaged or broken limb on an angle to shed snow and rain. Had he/she missed the chapter that recommends making the smallest possible cut? This cut is very large.

Whenever possible, make small cuts and on a 30°- 45° angle. I have the advantage of seeing the oak tree up close. In this case, tree pruner may have experienced extenuating circumstances. I had not seen the extent of injury to this storm damaged tree. I've concluded that this tree cut is correct.

Each pruning cut is a wound. A small cut heals more rapidly than a wide cut. Cutting on an angle is correct, creating the smallest possible diameter wound. There is no need to apply a tree wound paint or sealant. These products are simply cosmetic.

Prune most trees and shrubs in late winter unless they flower in spring. If you delay, spring-flowering plants may be pruned within one month after blooming. Prune summer-flowering shrubs and trees in late February and March because their flowers are initiated on new spring -summer growth.

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