Wood Acres Tree Specialists
10315 Kensington Parkway, Kensington MD 20895-3358
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Improper Pruning Can Destroy Your Trees

improperly pruned trees bad pruningimproper tree pruning












These photos are great examples of improper pruning. Improper pruning is a huge stress on trees. It removes all of the foliage at one time, so the food producing structure of the tree is immediately removed. When that happens, the root system is not able to cope with such a huge loss all at once, which can lead to root death.

Another concern about this type of improper pruning is leaving large pruning cuts. Larger pruning cuts are sometimes necessary to properly prune trees, but larger cuts do not heal as well as smaller cuts. These large cuts have the greater potential to rot than smaller cuts. When this tree produces new shoots and new leaves, all of the new shoots and leaves will be attached to these potentially rotten areas. This increases the risk of the limbs failing in the future.

People think that when trees are cut like this, they become safer. With the increased potential of rot is taken into consideration, improper pruning actually raises the risk level of the tree. When pruning a tree, no more than 25%-30% of the foliage should be removed in one pruning cycle. Pruning cuts should be made at laterals, and pruning cuts should be as small as possible.

For proper pruning of your trees contact the certified arborists at Wood Acres Tree Specialists.

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Beech Tree Decline

Beech Tree Decline

Wood boring insects and cankers on tree

If you look at the canopy of this tree, the back half looks perfectly normal.  The leaves are nice size, they are showing good fall color, and they are still on the tree.  But the front half of the canopy has very few leaves on it.  An uneven canopy should prompt an arborist to take a closer look.

This particular beech is in decline.  The tree is infested with wood boring insects, shown by the bright tan sawdust at the base.  It is also diseased with hypoxylon canker disease, which is shown by the pinkish/purplish/gray splotches where the bark has fallen off.

This tree will need to be removed within a year as there is no cure for the hypoxylon canker disease.  We can treat the tree and help prevent future infestations of the wood boring insects, but it would not save the tree due to the disease attack.

For expert solutions regarding a tree you feel is in decline contact Wood Acres Tree Specialists for treatment or removal.

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Improper Mulching Techniques – The Mulch Volcano

improper tree mulching

The Mulch Volcano

This photo shows improper mulching.  This tree has had mulch placed at the base of the tree since it was installed.  The mulch was piled that way to help protect an improperly planted tree.

One of the problems with mulch volcanoes is that bark is designed to be exposed to air.  When it is covered with mulch, then the bark cannot dry properly and that is a great way for a disease and rot to attack the lower stem of a tree.  Another problem of mulch volcanoes is that roots can grow inside the mulch.  Since the roots are not in the soil where they would be properly insulated, they are more susceptible to drying out and dying, which can stress a tree.

This tree was doomed from the start when it was not planted properly.  Half of the root ball of this tree was planted above ground, which led to the mulch volcano trying to protect the exposed root system.  Trees can survive planted this way, but they won’t thrive and it makes them more susceptible to problems down the road.  With such a mature tree, these problems cannot be fixed.  If your tree is recently planted, it can be fixed by replanting at proper levels and applying a thin layer of mulch.

Be sure to watch your landscapers when they plant trees.  Most professional landscapers plant at proper levels, but if the landscapers are not knowledgeable, you may be dealing with a tree that requires a lot more maintenance.

For expert advice about your trees contact the certified arborists at Wood Acres Tree Specialists.

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