tree trimming

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Old 02-15-09, 05:11 AM
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Location: southeast pennsylvania
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tree trimming

I'm not sure if this is where I ask the question about trimming a tree, but I will anyway since I don't know where else to go. I live in Southeastern Pennsylvania and I have a Japanese Maple tree that sits in my yard and very close to the road. When I pull out of my driveway in the summer there is some trouble seeing if cars are coming from that way. I must trim some of those branches but I'm not sure when is the right time to do it. Is it right now in the winter, in the spring, or in the fall?
 
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Old 02-15-09, 06:42 AM
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Heres what I found at a garden site..... This was for someone living in Zone 5. If it's still plenty cold and more is expected. You should be ok. If any outside plants have started budding at all...I think you should wait.

"Major pruning should be done during the dormant season after the leave have fallen, from late November to early January, well before the sap starts rising prior to leaf production in the spring. Corrective pruning and training can be done at any time of the year, however, except when the sap is rising and all the plantís energy is devoted to the emergence and development of the young leaves. Cuts should be made just beyond a pair of buds on the twig. Usually, this will then produce two side shoots. When removing a larger limb, like any other pruning, the cut should be made just above the branch collar- the ridge or line where the branch joins an older branch or stem. Never cut below this natural barrier against the ingress of disease from a pruning wound. Cutting beyond this point not only gets behind the plantís last line of defense, it also creates an even bigger wound surface for disease to attach. At the same time, an unnecessarily long ďstubĒ should not be left, as it provides a greater food source for any disease to build up its strength before penetrating the treeís natural defense system.

The need for SHARP pruning tools cannot be overemphasized. A clean pruning wound heals much more quickly than jagged, torn wound created by blunt tools, and the wound calluses over more effectively. To prevent spreading disease from tree to tree, it is good practice to clean and sterilize pruning tools regularly. The use of tree-wound paint on the cut surfaces is not recommended. Studies and trials in the 1980ís and 1990ís showed clearly that allowing the wound to dry out discourages the germination of disease spores which are inevitably already on the wood surface."

Hope that helps.... Your local Extension office or Master Gardener program would probably have more specific answers for your area.
 
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