Ash Tree Pruning Tips
Ash tree pruning is necessary in order to train your tree to grow properly. These trees will develop a strong, healthy growth only through correct pruning methods. Pruning will also allow sunlight and air to circulate among the tree's branches which aid in the reduction of certain diseases. Ash trees do well in moist, rich soil, full sun and plenty of room in which to grow. When cared for through careful and regular seasonal pruning, these trees will grow to 80 feet high and spread out to 60 feet or more.
Benefits of Pruning
If you have ever swung a baseball bat, you know what ash looks like. This relative of the olive tree comes in over 60 species, but is prone to ash borers, pests and disease. Special care through pruning and removing broken or blighted branches will insure the development of a strong tree. Ash trees should be pruned to allow center leader growth, especially since this tree has an opposing branch tree structure. Seasonal pruning is suggested to improve and maintain the tree's structure while promoting vigorous growth and the tree's lifespan.
Pruning Removes Pests
Carefully inspecting your ash trees will also determine if pruning if necessary. If diseased or dead branches are noted, they should be removed as soon as is convenient. Removal will prevent pests and decay-producing elements from infecting the tree through these infected branches. Inspect the underside of tree bark for an S-shaped pattern. Emerald Ash wood-boring beetles are responsible for this pattern and have killed millions of ash trees in the United States alone. This pest attacks the trees nutrients and nutrient carrying system. If defoliation is evident, this can be caused by anthracnose. Whether it is frost damage or anthracnose damage, telltale signs of brown areas on leaves or cankers on the branches should be signs of necessary pruning as soon as possible. Insect and disease conditions can weaken the tree and lead to serious problems if not addressed quickly by pruning.
Other Pruning Benefits
In addition to pruning for diseases and broken branches, pruning benefits extend to improving the value of a landscape. enhancing its beauty and increasing it's marketability. Pruning creates visual access to nearby plantings and structures, adds structural beauty and accent to the existing tree. A sculptured tree is appealing to the eye and a panoramic view as well. In the larger variety of Ash trees, effective pruning and strategic branch removal will protect a home from storm or wind damage. Prune overhanging branches to prevent them from damaging parked automobiles or pedestrian traffic in, out or near your home. Correct pruning, when done while the tree is young, will promote desired growth while preventing costlier pruning when the tree has matured.
Three-step Pruning Method
On branches to be removed, make an initial cut on the underside, no more than a quarter of the way through the branch, approximately 6 inches from the branch collar. Make a second cut, 1 inch past the first cut on the top of the branch. Remove the stump after the branch falls cleanly away from the tree.