Tree Pruning

Written by Patricia Tunstall
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Tree pruning has many purposes, from safety to appearance to tree health. Obviously, dead, diseased, or broken limbs and branches are a hazard to anyone walking under them, or to the roofs they overhang. Personal injuries and death, damage to cars and homes--fallen limbs and trees are a menace to people and property.

Add a storm in which the ground is saturated with water and high winds flail at tree tops, and problem limbs and trees can bring down power lines and cause fires. Most of the power outages on Long Island are caused by trees contacting power lines. All these scenarios should persuade property owners that tree care management, including professional tree pruning, is essential to the safety of people and the protection of property.

Tree Pruning for Tree Health

Generally, a healthy tree will withstand winds and storms with its limbs intact, and its strong roots anchored in the ground. Water-soaked dirt and high winds can create a wind sail effect in a tree with a thick canopy and uproot the entire tree. The usual broken tree or uprooted tree, however, has problems ranging from root rot to cavities to multiple trunks competing with each other.

Landscaping professionals who specialize in tree pruning and removal will regularly inspect a homeowner's trees for cracks in the trunk or large limbs, dead wood, and fungus. They remove diseased and damaged limbs and branches so they are not a hazard during severe weather. One of their techniques to prevent uprooting is cabling and bracing, which strengthen a tree and enable it to endure high winds. The simplest, surest way to protect a tree is to trim and prune it at the first sign of breakage, damage, or disease.

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