Pruning is an essential aspect of maintaining your trees and keeping them healthy. While giving your tall, green friends a trim may seem simple, it’s an intricate process that requires skill.
As such, it can be done improperly if cutting sheers fall into the wrong hands.
Thus, it’s crucial to know what poor pruning looks like. Explore this guide to learn the tell-tale signs of incorrect pruning so that you can handle it properly if it happens to you.
A Lot of Generally Bad Cuts
There are numerous signs your trees have been badly pruned. But among the more obvious is all-around lousy cutting. Your trees have been improperly cared for if the areas that were cut exhibit any of the following:
#1. Stub Cuts—This will leave a stub branch big enough to hang something from, where there should be nothing. Stub cuts keep your tree from being able to seal off disease.
#2. Flush Cuts—These cuts remove a slightly enlarged area around a branch’s base known as the branch collar. When removed, it keeps the tree from healing correctly.
#3. Heading Cuts—These cuts take off the end of a branch at a random point. This leaves the tree exposed to pests and disease. Trees will often try to compensate by sprouting numerous weak branches at the end of the cut.
All these cuts are signs of poor pruning. Plus, they can be detrimental to your tree’s health. So, if you spot this kind of cutting, call a certified arborist to rectify it.
Indications of Tree Topping
Of course, generally, bad cuts aren’t the only sign your trees have been badly pruned. Another symptom of improper trimming is indications of tree topping. If you’re unaware, tree topping is the process by which a tree’s most dominant trunk—or branch leader—is cut randomly.
The idea is to reduce the overall height of the tree. However, this method is unsafe and unhealthy for the tree. Think of the dominant trunk as the tree’s spine. It was the first sprout, continually growing upward, supporting every branch that came thereafter.
This, of course, includes the branches that make up a tree’s crown. Thus, the tree can no longer get the support it needs when the crown is topped. Plus, most saplings will have a stress response to topping, which results in spindly, weak branches sprouting in a mass at the end of branches.
This is terrible for the health of your tree. It will also undoubtedly lead to more corrective work in the future. So, if you think your trees have been topped, call a professional to assess and treat your trees.
Signs of Lion Tailing
Lion tailing is another improper pruning method that impacts a tree’s health. If you’re wondering what lion tailing looks like, picture patchy, thin canopies and lots of visible interior branching.
Lion-tailed trees will often have foliage growing at branch ends. Professional arborists will never use this method to cut back healthy trees because it:
- Stimulates stress response leaves
- Creates a future hazard
- Removes too much foliage
All of this leads to poor tree health. It also poses certain risks to the integrity of your home and your safety. That’s why it’s crucial to have certified professionals handle all your tree care and tree pruning needs. If you happen to be in Central Texas, you can trust Sid Mourning Trees to perform the best pruning or tree trimming in Austin, Texas.