Because a tree is not like a shrub that must be thinned frequently, trimming is permanent and has a significant effect on its structure and appearance. The most beautiful mature trees maintain their youthful appearance through deliberate trimming as they grow. It is advisable to make small wounds on mature trees rather than larger ones when trimming. A wound that is too large may harm a tree.
2 categories of Tree trimming
Tree pruning allows you to prune trees either by thinning or by heading, no matter how old or young they are.
Several branches can be removed at once or one branch may be shortened to connect with another. This type of pruning can be used to stimulate growth through a tree while removing unhealthy or weak growth. The thinning cuts are also used to improve air circulation in a tree canopy, as well as sunlight infiltration to the interior leaf surface or grounds below. Thinning also enhances a tree's naturally symmetrical shape.
lateral branch ends are cut back to a bud that forms as a result of the pruning, resulting in a shorter tree. If heading cuts are used on branches over a year old, it is hard – if not impossible – to rectify the deformity.
The Problems With Topping
A heading cut when done poorly is known as topping. This is the most common tree trimming error and the most devastating to the tree's wellbeing. The act of topping is carried out by removing limbs and even the main trunk from trees to leave stubs. It can also naturally occur when heavy winds break the trunk structure.
As a result of topping, the tree enters into a state of overfeeding, which causes it to die as the leaves drop. Shoots are quickly replaced which are spindly, weak, and easily broken. In addition, these shoots need frequent trimming to prevent them from breaking.
In contrast, topping creates large, gaping wounds in trees, which are difficult for trees to seal. These wounds facilitate the spread of decay or disease, which create weak spots in the branch structure. Decaying stubs also compromise the tree's structural integrity.
Tree trimming is not a task to be taken lightly. It should not be done to be done. Poor technique or excessive cutting can have catastrophic consequences for the plant. Some of the most serious results are the reduction of growth, flowering, fruit production, and the vulnerability of the species to pests or diseases.
Are you now beginning to understand the importance of this process?
With pruning, you will not only be keeping your tree in perfect condition, you will also be manipulating its growth, its shape, and, if it is fruity, its fruit production.
What types of pruning are there?
Before pruning, you must be very clear about what you are looking for with this process and, above all, what the tree actually needs.
As we have mentioned, not all plants have to be pruned periodically. In many cases, a simple intervention is enough when growth gets too out of control. Others will only require the removal of the wilted parts.
Each plant has a need for pruning and knowing its characteristics and requirements will be decisive. You will prune in one way or another depending not only on those factors, you must also take into account the time of life in which the tree is located.
There are several types of pruning, but the most important is training and maintenance. Other processes are fruiting, rejuvenating, or flowering.
The objective of this process is to shape a species so that it has a certain aesthetic appearance. Formation pruning also induces the development of strong, well-distributed branches and, in the case of a fruit tree, the simple harvesting of the fruits.
The basic purposes are:
Direct or limit growth: If a tree is allowed to grow freely, it may look too wild for our garden. What is sought with training pruning is to keep the development of a species balanced. A clear example of this is bonsai or hedges.
Control the production of flowers and fruits: excessive production of flowers or fruits can cause a poor quality of them. By pruning some sections of internal or weak branches, the energy of the tree is diverted to what really matters.
Prevent the appearance of pests and diseases: it is an effective means to control the attack of pests or diseases. A well-done pruning will allow the tree to develop stronger and with more vitality. In addition, the breakage of the weakest branches (gateway of infectious organisms) will be avoided.
Formation pruning is done during the first years of the plant's life, especially in the moments after planting.
Also known as sanitation. This pruning consists of eliminating the most undesirable parts of the tree. When we speak of undesirables we are referring to dry branches, stumps, weak branches with the risk of breaking, dry leaves, etc.
This process must be carried out once the tree has its shape already defined and it is done throughout the life of the specimen. There are species that require maintenance pruning every year (such as fruit trees) and others for which a lower cutting frequency is enough.
Before proceeding with this task, you should know what the requirements of the species you are planted are
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