Last weekend, I went to another session of working in the garden at the Tucson Botanical Gardens and again, it was another meaningful session that focused on garden maintenance and pruning. This particular article will focus on the pruning part as I thought it was interesting.
Cut 1. It's the mini cut under the branch so that the bark won't peel away in case a limb falls and damage the tree.
Cut 2. Is the major cut....close to cut one that will remove the weight.
Cut 3. This is the delicate cut in which you will cut closely to the branch or trunk. This is THE most important cut of them all because you will want to make sure your tree heals properly.
Remember that branch angles in formation of U or much better than a V. A U formation creates a stronger tree.
When should someone prune a tree?
-when there is dead wood
-when there are crossing branches
-when there is diseased wood
NEVER TOP A TREE
NEVER REMOVE MORE THAN 20% OF THE PLANT(some say 25%)
What type of equipment do I use?
-Hand pruner for a branch less than 1/2 inch
-Loopers for a branch up to 1 inch
-Pruning saws for anything thicker
Pruning Young Trees
-Do not remove lower branches for 2-3 years as the goal is to establish a strong trunk
-Establish desired branch spacing
-Avoid pruning in hot weather to avoid sunburn on trunk
Reason for Pruning Mature Trees
-Crown raising or elevating(so that people can walk under the tree)
When to prune
-in Spring as it encourages growth
-in Fall to reduce plant size but it is suggested that you avoid fall pruning as it is slower to heal and more likely to decay from cold and wet weather.....so wait until Spring:)
A tree should be
"Yes" to keep the rootball from tipping over during a windstorm and "no" to keep a tree to bend a certain way. Two stakes if you use this method.
I stake at my place for newly planted trees only so that they don't fall out or tip over from their freshly made hole. Trees need to have moving space so that when the wind blows the trunk around, it will send signals to its' root system strengthening it into the ground.
Watering new trees.
The irrigation drip should be kept close the first year and moved further away as the tree gets older so that it can extend it's roots into further ground. A tree will tip over if the water line is not moved after the first year as this encourages the tree's roots to stay in one place. I've had personal issues with this particular problem. I lost two beautiful trees that way because I didn't move the drip system away and it killed me....two year of love and they die!! Trees should have their roots a depth of 18 to 36 inches.
It was a lot of information, but I felt like it was one of the best classes yet. Hope this helps you in your own garden....until my next blog on garden maintenance:)