Category Archives: MO

Proper Pruning in Late Winter

Proper pruning in late winter leads to strong, lush trees and shrubs in the springtime

Pruning cuts are made slightly beyond the branch collar.

Pruning cuts are made slightly beyond the branch collar. COURTESY OF JOHNSON COUNTY K-STATE RESEARCH & EXTENSION

BY DENNIS PATTON for Kansas City Star (MO), FEBRUARY 12, 2020 03:42 PM

Does pruning strike more fear in your heart than a trip to the doctor? Pruning sounds complicated, but once you understand the basic guidelines, the rest falls into place.

PROPER PRUNING IN LATE WINTER – KNOW WHERE TO MAKE THE CUT

Most people hesitate knowing where to make the cut. Discerning “where” does not mean which specific limb needs to be removed. It means where precisely on the branch the cut is to be made.

Every pruning cut should be made at the point where there is another branch, fork, crotch angle or new bud forming. Making the cut at a growth point reduces the chance of decay and uncontrolled growth. Directing new growth is the goal of pruning, not merely pruning to remove growth.

Pruning to this juncture removes tall overgrown limbs, reduces plant height and thins out the plant. When extreme weather impacts our neighborhoods, pruning will reduce the weight of snow, ice and wind, which can lead to branch failure.

The energy that once supported the removed limb is now channeled into the growth of the remaining limbs. It is important to understand the concept of directional pruning.

The direction of the remaining limb or bud will point to where the growth will head. Attempting to control height? Prune to a side-pointing limb. Need to reduce spread? Prune to an upward pointing limb. Tired of the low-hanging limb hitting you in the face? Find a branch growing upward. See how this works?

Removing a limb back to another branch thins out a tree or shrub for better light penetration and less wind resistance. Not only does this apply to shade trees, but flowering and fruit trees as well. More sunlight penetrating the plant will lead to more flowering and fruit development.

HOW TO MAKE THE CUT

Now that you are confident in knowing where to make the cut, the next step is to do it properly. Pruning is an injury to the plant or tree, wounding the wood. The goal is to quickly heal the wound with a correctly made cut.

Pruning cuts are made slightly beyond the branch collar, where a layer of cambium growth has the ability of rapidly sealing off the cut. The branch collar is the raised, rough growth of bark tissue at the crotch angle. Remember, the cut is always made back to a branch angle.

Try to avoid cutting to the outside of the branch collar as it will leave a slight bump. We want to steer clear of creating a stub, a longer piece of wood sticking out. Stubs do not heal and lead to decay or uncontrolled growth. Cutting too close results in a flush cut, which removes the bark collar, leaving a bigger wound. A larger wound is slower to seal and increases the chance of decay.

Tree pruning is done in late winter before new growth. The lack of foliage reveals problem areas, making it easier to know which limbs to remove. Spring is a time of rapid growth for quick recovery. Now go forth and prune. I have confidence in your abilities.

Dennis Patton is a horticulture agent with Kansas State University Research and Extension. Got a question for him or other university extension experts? Email them to [email protected].

https://www.kansascity.com/living/liv-columns-blogs/kc-gardens/article240239351.html


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Anatomy of a Tree

Leaves

Leaves carry out photosynthesis, making food for the tree and releasing oxygen into the air. And this tells us much about their shapes. For example, the narrow needles of a Douglasfir can expose as much as three acres of chlorophyll surface to the sun.

The lobes, leaflets and jagged edges of many broad leaves have their uses, too. They help evaporate the water used in food-building, reduce wind resistance and even provide “drip tips” to shed rain that, left standing, could decay the leaf.

Branches and Twigs

Branches and twigs grow out of the tree trunk and serve as support structures for leaves, flowers and fruit. They also transport materials between the trunk and the leaves.

Trunk

The trunk of a tree is made up of five different layers.

Anatomy of a Tree
  1. The outer bark is the tree’s protection from the outside world. Continually renewed from within, it helps keep out moisture in the rain and prevents the tree from losing moisture when the air is dry. It insulates against cold and heat and wards off insect enemies.
  2. The inner bark, or “phloem,” is the pipeline through which food is passed to the rest of the tree. It lives for only a short time then dies and turns to cork to become part of the protective outer bark.
  3. The cambium cell layer is the growing part of the trunk. It annually produces new bark and new wood in response to hormones that pass down through the phloem with food from the leaves. These hormones, called “auxins,” stimulate growth in cells. Auxins are produced by leaf buds at the ends of branches as soon as they start growing in the spring.
  4. Sapwood is the tree’s pipeline for water moving up to the leaves. Sapwood is new wood. As newer rings of sapwood are laid down, inner cells lose their vitality and turn to heartwood.
  5. Heartwood is the central, supporting pillar of the tree. Although dead, it will not decay or lose strength while the outer layers are intact. A composite of hollow, needlelike cellulose fibers bound together by a chemical glue called lignin, it is in many ways as strong as steel. Set vertically, a 1″ x 2″ cross section that is 12″ long can support twenty tons!

Roots

roots

Contrary to popular belief, tree roots are typically found in the top three feet of the soil. They also expand well beyond the dripline, often occupying an area two to four times the size of the tree crown.

A tree’s root system works to absorb water and minerals from the soil, anchor the tree to the ground, and store food reserves for the winter. It is made up of two kinds of roots: large perennial roots and smaller, short-lived feeder roots.


“Anatomy of a Tree.” Advanced Search-The Tree Guide at Arborday.org, The Arbor Day Foundation, www.arborday.org/trees/TreeGuide/anatomy.cfm.


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All About Trees

All About Trees Has A New Address!

All About Trees has a new address! Exciting things are happening over here. Thank you for your continued working relationship with us. Our new location is:

All About Trees, LLC
3427 W. Farm Road 146
Springfield, MO 65807

This new location is larger than our previous address. This will allow us to expand our business to better serve Springfield and its surrounding area. We look forward to being able to better treat our urban forest!

Please make a note of this new information in your records. We look forward to continuing to work together in the future. Please note that this location is not open to the public. If you would like to give us a visit for whatever reason, please give our office a call ahead of time.

Thank you,

The All About Trees Office


If you would like to schedule an estimate, please call the office at 417-863-6214. If you miss us, please leave us a detailed voicemail message with your name, address, phone number, email, and tree concerns. We will give you a call back as soon as possible.

We offer a variety of tree-related services. To view a full list of our services, please visit https://allabouttrees.com/tree-services-tree-trimmers-springfield-mo/ 

Leave us a review! http://goo.gl/9trWh6

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