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Ever Wonder Why Tree Limbs Fall In Your Yard?
Weak Tree Branch Unions
Branch unions can be either strong or weak. Strong branch unions have upturned branch bark ridges at branch junctions. Annual rings of wood from the branch grow together with annual rings of wood from the stem, creating a strong union all the way into the center of the tree.
A weak branch union occurs when a branch and stem (or two or more co-dominant stems) grow so closely together that bark grows between them, inside the tree. The term for bark growing inside the tree is “included bark.” As more and more bark is included inside the tree, the weak branch union is formed that is more likely to fail.
Trees that fail in windstorms failed at weak branch unions of co-dominant stems. Some species are notorious for having included bark: European mountain ash, green ash, hackberry, boxelder, willow, red maple, silver maple, Amur maple, cherry and littleleaf linden.
Epicormic branches (water sprouts) are formed as a response to injury or environmental stress. Epicormic branches are new branches that replaced injured, pruned or declining branches. Commonly, epicormic branches form on the stems and branches of topped trees. When old, large epicormic branches are growing on decaying stems or branches, the epicormics are very likely to fail.
Epicormic branches, by their very nature, form weak unions because they are shallowly attached instead of being attached all the way to the center of the stem. Epicormic branches grow very quickly so they become heavy very quickly. After a time they lose their connection to the main branch and may fall to the ground because the underlying wood cannot support their weight.
If a weak union is also cracked, cankered or decayed, the union is likely to fail, causing the branch to fall off the tree. Sometimes, ridges of bark and wood will form on one or both sides of a weakened branch union in order to stabilize the union. The branch is very likely to fail when a crack forms between the ridges.
Tree Pruning Tips
Begin visual inspection at the top of the tree and work downward.
Use The ⅓ and ¼ Rules of Pruning
Never remove more than ¼ of a tree’s crown in a season.
For most species, the tree should have a single trunk. Identify the best leader and later branches before you begin pruning and remove defective parts before pruning for form.
Don’t worry about protecting pruning cuts. For aesthetics, you may feel better painting large wounds but it doesn’t prevent or reduce decay.
Keep tools sharp. One-hand pruning shears with curved blades work best on young trees.
For high branches use a pole pruner. A major job on a big tree should be done by a professional arborist.
When simply shortening a small branch, make the cut at a lateral bud or another lateral branch. Favor a bud that will produce a branch that will grow in desired direction (usually outward). The cut should be sharp and clean and made at a slight angle about ¼ inch beyond the bud.
A newly planted tree’s best friend is mulch.
It is very important to remember to mulch your tree after you have planted it.
Mulch insulates the soil helping to provide a
buffer from heat and cold temperatures.
Seagate Tree Service Of Wilmington, NC.
Call 910-617-0169 Today!
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