Caring for trees
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Caring For Trees. Julianne Schieffer Penn State Department of Ecosystem Science and Management. Reduce Maintenance Costs and Efforts. Choose quality plant material. Plan and design well - plant the right tree in the right place.

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Caring For Trees

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Caring For Trees

Julianne Schieffer

Penn State Department of

Ecosystem Science and Management


Reduce Maintenance Costs and Efforts

Choose quality plant material.

Plan and design well - plant the right tree in the right place.

Provide care to young trees - correct planting, irrigation, and pruning.


Mulching

3 – 3 - 3


Understanding Tree Biology

Removing more than 25% live crown causes stress to the tree and a biological response to produce more leaves and

water sprouts.

Food is made in leaves and stored behind new buds - Photosynthesis


Terminal and Lateral Buds

Growth regulating hormones (auxin) produced by apical meristem inhibit lateral growth.

Accounts for orderly branch development and spacing


Branch Attachment

Branch Collar: an interweaving of branch wood followed by trunk wood (each year) that holds the branch in place; this is the reason that a large heavy branch can sway in the wind without falling off.


Branch Collar

Branch Collar


Branch Protection Zone

  • Branch Collar

  • Branch bark ridge

  • Branch protection zone

  • Dormant bud

  • Pith protection zone

  • Pith

2

1

3

4

5

6

Photo credit: Dr. Alex Shigo


Don’t Make Flush Cuts!

The trunk is now exposed

to decay and future structural problems.


Wound Closure

The branch collar forms wound-wood or callus to seal wounds and protect from infection.

Painting wounds does not prevent decay! Oil based paints even harm the tree.


Good Tree Form

Central Leader

Strong/Wide Branch Unions


Good Tree Form

Central Leader

Strong/Wide Branch Unions


Poor Form - Co-Dominant Stems

Illustration: Dr. Alex Shigo

Included Bark

Photo: V. Cotrone


Co-Dominant Stems- Bradford Pear

Photos: V. Cotrone


Topping

Reduction Pruning?

Pollarding?


When to Prune?

  • Winter (Dormancy) is Best

  • Avoid Spring as leaves are emerging –tears bark, removes many leaves before they produce food.

  • Avoid Fall as leaves are coming off the tree - stimulates tender sprouting; decay spores present.

  • Prune Deadwood anytime

  • Spring Flowering – to maximize flowering, prune just after blossoms fall.

“Bleeding” doesn’t hurt trees – it is just sap!


Training for Structure & Form


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