Did you know improper pruning methods can cause lasting damage to a tree? Branches broken off in a windstorm can also cause damage that lasts far beyond the initial cleanup. Why?
Trees deal with wounds differently
Trees deal with wounds in a very different way than you or I. When we are wounded, our body goes through a process of regeneration in which our bodies replace the cells that were damaged or lost (to some extent). Trees do not respond in the same ways as humans.
Wounds in trees occur when the outer layers of bark are compromised, exposing or removing the cambium and inner wood. This happens whether limbs are trimmed properly by pruning shears or strong winds break or tear a branch.
Cambium is a paper-thin layer that resides just below the bark and is responsible for creating new wood and bark, resulting in the tree growing thicker.
How do trees deal with wounds?
When a tree is wounded, it does not heal the affected wood but instead grows a new layer of wood to seal it off, much like putting a permanent band-aid over the wound. The tree tries to enclose the wound as quickly as possible before rot or disease attack the structural support that is the wood inside.
As you can imagine, the tree is better equipped to deal with some wounds than others. Clean cuts at branch collars (like those done by a professional arborist during regular pruning) heal much more quickly than if the same branch broke off in the wind. Branches broken by gale force winds are usually torn off leaving a large jagged wound, which takes much longer to close.
Protect trees on your Seattle property
Professional pruning by a certified arborist is one way you can protect your trees as they only perform clean cuts following proper procedures. By doing this, any wounds heal quicker and are less likely to be infected by insect, disease or rot.
In addition, preventative pruning to remove weak, dead or dying limbs can lower the chance of storm damage by strong winds because these branches are more prone to breaking.
Our crews provide service to the Seattle metro area, the entire Eastside, North Bend and Snohomish areas. Contact us for your free estimate.