Large Tree Pruning
Stages and Pruning
The first stage is establishment and includes seedlings, new planting and transplants. The key factor is that the tree concentrates growth on both the root system and the upper foliar crown. In this stage, pruning is limited to crown cleaning. Little or no foliage should be removed because the biomass of the tree is depending on the energy produced by the leaves to fuel growth.
The second stage is juvenile. In this stage trees are established in their environment and grow at their most rapid pace. They have ample energy in the biomass to run an active defense system against invading insects and disease. Trees can benefit and respond well to pruning at this stage. Structural pruning to develop good branch structure should be done at this stage. This type of pruning will help eliminate major branch defects in the future. In the early years most of the growth is straight up. This is called "Apical Dominance", all the energy moves to the upper foliar crown. As the tree continues to grow the side branches begin to get wider because the biomass has more energy. This is called lateral dominance. More leaves, more energy to the biomass, more growth.
By the time the lower branches begin to interfere with mowing the upper foliar crown will be large enough to supply adequate energy to the biomass allowing one to remove the branches interfering with mowing without causing any significant stress to the plant.
The mature stage growth continues at a slower, steady pace. The tree may self prune some branches that are no longer productive. This is a natural process in all trees. The tree has a good balance between the root system and the upper foliar crown building energy levels in the biomass of the tree beyond what energy it needs during the growing season. Thinning and structural pruning will benefit this stage. No more than 25% of the foliage should be remove in one growing season.
Look at the tree and the photo one year later and the tree will tell you how quickly the decline is approaching. Fertilization can slow the effect of decline in some cases and may prolong death for years. Prune your back to ground O , photograph and compare after any pruning.
The decline stage is a part of life with all living organisms. Trees are no different even though they are the longest living organisms on this planet. Trees enter this stage when their roots run out of room to grow.
When they succumb to biotic and A biotic factors effective their natural life span. Pruning deadwood is all anyone can do with this stage. Tree in this stage need all the green they have to put energy back to the biomass to open new leaves in the following Spring. Once the deadwood is remove we recommend the clients photograph the tree. This gives the client a photographic record of how the tree looked with no deadwood.