Tree Care Services

Structural Pruning
Tree Risk (Safety) Evaluations

Pruning: Young trees; need "Structural Pruning". Here's why! If co-dominant stems are left un-corrected they can eventually fail during future storm events. Your investment will be lost. Structural pruning will benefit the tree over its first 25 years.

Click on image to enlarge.
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We can easily do this pruning for you at low cost.

Co-dominant stems and branches with included bark should be corrected early in the life of the tree (structural pruning). Where this did not happen, cabling and bracing can prevent branch and stem failures and extend the trees useful life.

Included bark is where there is stem or branch bark between the branch and stem union. This is very common depending on stem and branch form. Where this occurs, there is no wood fiber connection between this unions, (v-shaped), so it will eventually fail. Where the union is more (U-shaped), or where the bark rises between the attachments, (called ta branch-bark ridge), the attachment is very strong.

Mature trees: for mature trees pruning objectives include limited raising, or periodic clearance from buildings or vistas (visibility), dead wood removal where necessary, and limited crown reductions to extend the useful life of mature trees with structure and or decay issues.

For Tree Risk Assessment (safety) Evaluations: See Safetrees, LLC, and the "Evaluating Tree Defects" field guide.

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The left photo is the very destructive "sulfur fungus", Laetipureus sulphureus, on a mature Green ash tree. This particular tree has a high risk of stem failure due to extensive internal wood decay. The right photo was a champion mature native Black oak in Iowa, removed due to the significant continued risk of large branch failures over the home and signs of decay!

A word on miss-treatments; the most common pruning miss-treatment of landscape trees is over-rising (raising the height of the clear stem be removing the lower branches). Try to maintain a tree form with a two-thirds live crown. Other miss-treatments include making large wounds and cutting branches two close to the stem (called, flush cuts). Try to remove the branches before they reach two inches in diameter where they are attached to the stem. When making these cuts, stay in the branch wood and avoid wounding the trunk or stem wood. Topping or over-rounding is poor practice. Instead, make reduction cuts where needed for structure or clearance and try to maintain the natural form of the particular tree species. There are many resources and diagrams available on the web, for how to make these proper pruning and reduction pruning cuts.

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