The Beauty of Trees
8 years ago
Enjoying a landscaped yard can be both fun and frustrating. One of the most frustrating things that my clients tell me is that they don't know how to do certain things withing their yard. I'm going to help you with that. This time of year most people are probably not thinking too much of their landscape and rightfully so because its cold! The cold however can be a great time to do tree care.
Trees are indispensable for the micro environments around our homes both in the aesthetic pleasure they give season by season but also in the utility they have. Did you know a mature leafy tree produces as much oxygen in a season as 10 people inhale in a year? It's amazing how much we depend on trees for survival. Trees also help with erosion control, wind screens, and shade and cool which I know we all enjoy in these Utah summers.
Though I'm no tree hugging bandit I wouldn't be the first person on the earth to attest to a spiritual element of a tree or the memories as a child climbing trees and swinging on the boughs tirelessly for hours on end. Now as a parent, life has cycled and I'm scaling trees and jumping down with my kids, only not for hours on end.:) In our modernized society the value of a tree truly can't be understated.
The problem lies in an ugly tree. How can we expect a tree to grow properly and look good if we neglect it year by year? My suggestion is simple. Don't delay, because time won't. The Chicago Botanical Society among many, many university extension offices will attest that dormancy is the best time to have a deciduous tree thinned, laced, topped, sheared, headed back or whatever technique is needed. The tree and variety will dictate the technique needed. It is much easier to prune a tree without its leaves since you can easily see it's branching structure. Also, in the winter there is less chance of transmitting diseases from one plant to another or attracting insects to fresh pruning wounds.
Many a husband has left a tree in shambles trying to trim it, only to make it worse. Please note how to make a proper cut.
1. Make a shallow cut on the underside of the branch, about 4-5 inches from the trunk.
2. Cut the branch off about 2-3 inches from the initial cut. When the weight of the
unsupported branch causes it to fall, the initial cut keeps the bark from peeling down the side of the trunk.
3. make the final cut, removing the remaining stub. make this cut just outside the branch collar: the slightly swollen area where the branch and trunk are joined together.
If you are going to do this yourself I would recommend a qualified mentor to walk you through the first time. Remember limbs don't grow back as easy as they are removed.