PRUNING AND CABLING
Pruning is one of the most important services a tree company can offer. Pruning can be a valuable service for many reasons and can often serve as an alternative to full removal. However, improper pruning can lead to unhealthy and potentially hazardous trees.
At Blue Oak, we teach our arborists to know the following:
Techniques for "spikeless" pruning to avoid the injuries caused by the use of tree gaffs.
Proper pruning procedure involving how and where to cut branches to promote the tree's compartmentalization process and future health.
Quantity limitations of live branch pruning and the effects of over-pruning.
How to establish strong architecture through pruning and not weaken it with improper practices.
and more... such as optimal times to prune, and what procedure to follow when pruning trees suffering from certain diseases.
Proper pruning is both an art and a science, and you don't want to give the responsibility of it to just anyone. Hire someone who knows and cares about tree health and pruning!
Reference the list below to decide which pruning objectives are most important to you:
Mitigating risk of branch/stem failure
Providing clearance (from houses, cars, walkways)
Improving tree structure.
Size management (not topping)
Reducing crown density
Restoration pruning (from injury or improper pruning)
Maintaining tree health
Improving tree aesthetics
What is cabling?
Cable installations are a special service for supporting tree branches or leaders that are at a higher risk of breaking. One example would be a tree that has two or more competing trunks that are splitting away from each other. In these cases, the union is often "V" shaped instead of "U" shaped, and may have included bark in it. Unions like these have been shown to be structurally weaker and more prone to failure.
Weight reduction pruning can help, but is often not sufficient on its own to mitigate the risk of branch/stem failure. Furthermore, too much pruning all at once will stress the tree and may cause it to decline in other ways, defeating the purpose of trying to preserve it. This is where cabling becomes a great option.
In arboriculture, the practice of proper cable installation has been shown to significantly reduce the likelihood of branch/stem failure. If they are improperly installed, however, they can cause damage, so be sure to hire a professional.
There are two general categories of cable: static and dynamic, and your consulting arborist should provide you with the pros and cons of each system as well as what may be recommended for your tree.