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September 13, 2016

When is the best time to prune trees?

Hey guys my name’s Mark Russell 770-Arborist and I want to answer that question for you today.  It’s getting toward the end of summer and it’s actually starting to get to the time when trees are about to go into dormant season. The short answer is it’s coming up. It’s time to start thinking about pruning your trees.

We’re going to talk about the best time of year to prune your trees and why. First, off the best time to prune trees is from the beginning of fall till the beginning of spring. That is known as the trees dormant season.  It’s when the leaves fall off and the tree kind of shuts down. Movement of the sap slows down and the trees are not photosynthesizing a whole lot. They are a little bit but not a lot.

We’re gonna get into the top four reasons to prune in the dormant season.

Number one, is less bugs. So when it’s hot in the summer lots of bugs are out. When you make those pruning cuts on that tree, it’s like Ding! Ding! Ding! Dinner bell! Hello bugs! I got a great free meal for you! Case in point, you take a piece of steak you throw it out on the driveway and you know you’re going to have flies really quick. In the same way, when you make those cuts on that tree when there are lots of bugs out, it’s just bringing them in.  They bring with them pathogens, fungus, bacteria, or they lay eggs in your tree. That’s just no good!

Number two, it gives the cuts time to dry during the winter when there are no bugs so that when the bugs come around it’s less attractive of a meal for them. That’s pretty self-explanatory.

Number three, is full ROI. Oh my, did a tree guy just use an investment term? Yes. I used to be a stockbroker, Actually. So, return on investment, for the resources that the tree allocated to produce the leaves. The bottom line is a lot of arboriculture is just helping the tree to allocate its resources in different ways. When the tree invests energy to create a leaf it needs to photosynthesize and get all that energy back from that investment. When you prune at the end of the season, rather than in the middle of the photosynthesis season, you get the best ROI possible.

And number four, would be the best amount of healing possible. If you’ve ever looked at growth rings on a tree you might have noticed that the white portions of the rings are bigger than the darker areas. That’s what I was talking about earlier in the video. That the tree does have a little bit of movement in the winter. That’s what the thin dark areas of growth are. They have very compact dense cells. The white areas are known as the spring flush. The white area is when the tree goes into active mode, and start pushing out to start growing leaves. The bottom line is this. You want to make that cut during the dormant season so that when the tree starts growing in spring it’s healing the cut and not creating leaves that will get cut off. This is optimal for healing your tree.

Those are the top four reasons for pruning your trees in the dormant season.

Ok guys, Again, my name is Mark Russell 770-Arborist is my company. I am certified arborist and am tree risk assessment qualified. If you have any questions about your trees give me a call and I would be more than happy to help you if I can. Our number is our name, (770) 758-8590.  We’ve been in Atlanta since 1997 doing trees. You guys take it easy. Bye-bye.

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