Decluttering Reduces Stress
Written by: Certified Arborist, Alec Schuppel
If you’re anything like me, you like to imagine trees as old, wise creatures having awareness of their behavior and reactions. Creatures that think of how to respond best after presented with a stressful scenario.
While this is true to a degree in their ability to react though electrical and chemical signals (much like the human brain and body). Trees are far wilder creatures that sporadically push their energy as far and as in many places it can reach in order to receive any and all available sunlight.
This can often to lead to unfortunate growth patterns that require additional attention by Certified Arborists. When a tree’s pruning needs are left unattended, it can lead to an overly thick canopy. While this may appear healthy and normal to the untrained eye, this is a concern to the trained eye. Inside that shell of foliage likely lies a handful of issues to be addressed.
When we prune, we don’t only address obvious structural conflicts, we also aim to thin crowns to address the following:
- Walled off light to the interior of the canopy. This can result in excess dead branches, largely robbing the the main, dominant leader of living foliage where we prefer to have the majority of the structural branches originate from.
- Clusters of branches all reaching the outer crown competing for the same resources. This creates a high amount of competition in tight quarters prohibiting the branches from thriving. These clustered branches can wound each other during weather events from the physical effects of the branches bumping into each other.
- Disease. When a canopy is thick and prohibits airflow, the leaves and branches are unable to dry out in a timely manner. This often lengthens the time of susceptibility of the tree to the development of fungal pathogens.
- Wind force. When a canopy is thick with foliage, it acts like a giant sail during high wind events. This sail is more susceptible to breakage since the force of the wind is higher on these unpruned trees. We saw some good examples of this on the news during our wind storms this summer. Many people were digging out from trees that were completely uprooted and tipped over.
- Over-extended limbs. These are individual, large limbs that extend out beyond what is typical for the species. Depending on the attachment point and overall structure (any cavities present?) of these limbs, they are dramatically more vulnerable to breakage.
So why is a pruning schedule recommended? Much like cleaning and decluttering for that corner of a garage, or a child’s bedroom, that mess tends to return over time. Thus it is important to keep it maintained over time. So contact a Wachtel Tree Science Certified Arborist today for an evaluation of your tree. We specialize in pruning your trees with an eye for promoting their safety and structure.