Our company is one of the few in the nation whose arborists are trained in “outer canopy maintenance pruning” of trees. This technique involves making strategical, selective cuts at the end of lateral branches in order to thin and reduce growth. This practice subtracts significant weight from the branches, thus reducing the amount of stress on the tree. Incidentally, the smaller stature of the tree also allows it to transport water and minerals more efficiently, therefore enhancing its overall vitality. This is critical for preserving overmature trees with declining root systems in order to restore a proper canopy to root ratio as well as “street” trees with confined root growth. Our arborists make sure to take into consideration the ability of a species to sustain this type of pruning before exercising this practice. Our arborists objectively abide by national industry pruning standards in order to develop a strategic management plan for your trees.
Visualize that each limb on a tree being a lever. Simple physics tells us that the longer a lever, the more force it is capable of generating on the working end. Therefore, when limbs attain the robust lengths that generally occur in landscape settings, the amount of force generated on the attachment on the limb to the trunk becomes considerable – especially under high winds, and after snowfall. One of the primary roles of an arborist is to manage the amount of weight on the ends of limbs, and reduce the lengths of levers to keep the stress within the limits that the limb can sustain.
When a tree is growing in a lawn or landscape setting, without other surrounding trees, it is out of it’s natural environment. Consider the natural woodland environment in which trees evolved and developed for millions of years. Woodlands are characterized by great numbers of trees growing in close proximity to one another. The lateral branch spread of each tree in this setting is influenced by its neighboring trees, thus maintaining a narrow profile or what is known as , “excurrent” growth. Conversely, when a tree is placed in a lawn or open setting without neighboring trees, nothing controls the lateral spread of the branches and the tree takes on a very broad profile or, “decurrent” growth. This broad profile is characterized by trees which condition themselves to unfettered growth by adopting a, “codominant stem” profile. This growth behavior can lead to branch orientation problems for several species of trees which may lead to premature structural failure.
Whether there’s an old Japanese Maple, a diseased and declining hedge, or any neglected plant that needs attention in your landscape, McFarland’s team of custom pruners will offer their skills to beautify and rejuvenate your plantings. Our pruners are adept and versatile in all facets of pruning. The following are all typical pruning procedures employed in ornamental landscaping by our custom pruners.
- 1. Prompt removal of damaged or dead wood to maintain vitality.
- 2. Restoration of overgrown and neglected plants to appropriate size and habit.
- 3. “Formative” pruning of juvenile trees to promote a strong, single leader and upward growth (starting at five years and continuing every fifth year thereafter)
- 4. Removal of weak or crowded shoots to encourage light and air penetration to reduce insect and disease incidence and encourage flowering.
- 5. Removal of old flowered wood at the appropriate time to promote flowering on new growth.
- 6. Assist with the training of wall plants (espaliers and climbers) to maintain a horizontal growth habit.