Schedule regular pruning for your young to medium-aged trees in Charlotte, NC
Did you know that a tree with codominant trunks or branches is often much weaker structurally than one with a dominant central trunk and good branch architecture? And a tree with a poor structure is usually the first to fail during storms.
An important part of ensuring your tree remains structurally sound as it grows into maturity is regular structural pruning. And winter is one of the best times to do it.
Why your landscape tree needs pruning and forest trees don't (usually)
You may be thinking, "Trees grow perfectly fine in the forest without pruning. Why does the tree in my yard need it?"
In the forest, trees are in constant competition with each other for light. So, they're encouraged to send one trunk straight up into the sky to get as much sunlight as they can.
On the other hand, the trees in our Charlotte, NC yards don't have much competition, if any at all. Because landscape trees often get plenty of light all around their crowns, they tend to grow laterally to capture as much light as they can, which can lead to the development of codominant trunks and branches.
What's so wrong with codominant trunks and branches? A tree with more than one trunk forming U- and V-shaped unions is weaker and more prone to failure.
Structural pruning can help prevent that problem.
Prune your tree on a regular basis to save money in the long run
It's much cheaper to prune a smaller, younger tree than it is to deal with the potential costs of the failure of a larger, mature tree. It comes with a lot less stress, too!
The point of structural pruning is to ensure young trees grow to maturity with a strong structure and good form. Our tree care professionals do this by first identifying which stem would make the best dominant trunk (or central leader) and then pruning any stems that are competing with it. That way, the central leader can flourish.
For young to medium-aged trees, structural pruning is usually done every 3-5 years.
If your tree is too old or too large, it may be too late or unadvisable to encourage the growth of a central leader. But pruning mature trees is still beneficial — it can reduce the risk of trunk and/or branch failure.
Winter is a great time to prune deciduous trees because it's easier to see the structure of a tree when all the leaves are gone. Also, insect and disease pressure is lower in the winter.
You planted your tree for a reason — whether it was beauty, privacy, shade, or the numerous other reasons trees are so amazing. It would be a shame for the tree to fail before you could enjoy those benefits.
Want to learn more about the tree care services you should schedule this winter? Check out our Winter Tree and Pest Manual.
Like what you just read?
Then you'll love this: How to Protect Your Trees This Winter