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Caring for Mature Trees 1

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Lara Schuman

on 3 December 2016

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Transcript of Caring for Mature Trees 1

Mature Tree Care
An Investment for the Future
Root Care
The Basics
Soil Nutrients
Mulch
A tree's best friend
How to Prune
Tree Inspection
The first step in tree care
Correct pruning minimizes wounding to trees
Incorrect Pruning
Can permanently damage a tree
Pruning
Why Prune a Tree?
Caring for Mature Trees
Mature Trees Increase Property Values
So any money spent on caring for trees can be thought of as an investment for property owners
Bad Practices Can Cause
More Harm than Good
And can turn and asset into a liability
Trenching too close to the trunk of this pecan resulted in the loss of several large supporting roots, destabilizing the tree.
As a result, the homeowner had to pay the appraised value to the City of Austin to mitigate for its loss.
Look at that value!
Mature Tree:
A tree that has reached at least 75% of its final height and spread at a particular site, but is not declining due to old age
- Dr. Edward Gilman
Good Tree Care Practices:
Improve tree health

Protect tree value

Reduce future maintenance costs

Reduce risk

Increase the lifespan of a tree
Andrew Koeser, International Society of Arboriculture, Bugwood.org
Look for these
Common Problems
Check the Roots
Root problems can stress a tree to the point of decline or make it less able to deal with other issues.
Girdling Roots
Fill over root crown
Cracked or severed roots
Look for Signs of Insects or Disease
Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org
H C Ellis, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
William M. Ciesla, Forest Health Management International, Bugwood.org
Look for
Abiotic Problems
Paul Bachi, University of Kentucky Research and Education Center, Bugwood.org
Herbicide Damage
Iron Chlorosis
Mechanical Damage
Caution:
Spraying herbicides or other chemicals on a hot or windy day can cause "drift" to kill nearby trees.
Signs of Decay

Look for mushrooms
Caution
Hitting a tree trunk with lawn equipment can cause long term, severe damage.
Codominant Stems and Included Bark
Prune to achieve a specific goal
Reduce risk
Achieve clearance
Respond to storm damage
Reduce Risk:
Take Care of Defects
Broken branches

Dead branches

Decayed branches

Codominant stems
Clearance
Storm Damage
Be Glad We Don't Have Snow!
Trees Need Their Leaves!
Never remove more than 25% of the live growth of a tree
Incorrect Pruning Can do More Harm Than Good
More on this later...
Trees Can't Heal
When a tree is wounded, that wound will be there the rest of the trees life

Trees "wall off" wounds to try and prevent decay
Old pruning cut
Wall 1
CODIT:
The Compartmentalization of Decay in Trees
Wall 2: Prevents spread of decay to the inside
Wall 2
Wall 3
Wall 3: Prevents spread of decay to the sides of the wound
Wall 4
Wall 4: New wood that eventually covers the wound
Wall 1: Prevents decay from spreading up and down from the wound
Wall 4 = Callus
Joseph O'Brien, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
The Branch Collar
Special tissues that help build Wall 4
Branch collar
Make pruning cuts right outside of the branch collar
If You Can't See a Collar...
Look for the Branch Bark Ridge
Branch Bark Ridge
Types of Pruning Cuts
Reduction Cut:
Shortens the length of a stem by pruning back to a smaller limb
Removal Cut:
Prunes a branch back to the trunk or parent branch
Don't Let This Happen to You...
Joseph O'Brien, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
Use a Three Part Cut to Prevent Ripping
1) Make an undercut out from area of final cut

2) Make a top cut further out on the limb

3) Make final cut to remove stub
Don't Top Trees!
Topping: Removing whole tops of trees or branches, leaving stubs or branches that are too small to become the terminal leader
Topping Leads to Poor Structure
Making a Reduction Cut
Cut back to a branch large enough to assume dominance or cut back to the trunk

Branches must be at least 1/3 the size of the one you are removing
Proper Reduction Cut Image from ANSI A300 (Part 1)-2008, By: Tree Care Industry Association, Inc. Page 5

Excessive Pruning
Removing too much of the live crown stresses a tree

This can lead to sprouting

If you need to raise a crown for clearance, it's best to do it over several years
Lion's Tailing
Lion's Tailing: Stripping off inner branches and leaving a tuft of leaves at the end
L
L
Lion's Tailing Makes Trees More Likely to Fail
L = Length of the Lever Arm
The lever arm length is usually about the height of the center of the crown, so when you raise the crown you lengthen the lever arm.
Flush Cuts
Flush cuts remove the branch collar, and lead to decay.
Joseph O'Brien, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
Provide mechanical support

Provide water and nutrients from the soil through absorption

Store energy
Roots:
Roots are Sensitive
Soil Compaction

Wet Soil Can Make Compaction Worse

Most roots are in the top 1' to 3' of soil, depending on the site.

Roots can be easily damaged by vehicles, equipment, etc.
Parking or driving on roots can cause damage.
Girdling Roots
Can anything be done to fix them?
Use an air spade to uncover roots

Make clean cuts to remove stem girdling roots
Compaction
What can be done to fix it?
An air spade can be used to loosen compacted soil around the root zone of a tree.
Trees need nutrients like nitrogen and iron to function properly.

Too much of any one nutrient can be harmful to the tree or the environment.
For soil analysis in Texas, send samples to the Texas A&M Soil Testing Lab:
http://soiltesting.tamu.edu/
Benefits of Mulch
Holds in moisture

Regulates soil temperatures

Adds organic matter to soil

Prevents damage from lawn equipment

Reduces competition from turf grass for water
How to Mulch a Tree
Apply 3" to 4" of mulch

Keep Mulch away from trunk

Apply mulch to as much of the drip line as possible
How
Not
to Mulch
Applying too thick of mulch can smother roots

Mulch right next to the trunk promotes insects and fungus
Working on Public Trees
Public trees can be found on City of Austin Property and in the right-of-way along streets.
Any work on Public Trees requires a Public Tree Care Permit

Permits applications can be found online
www.austintexas.gov
A correctly pruned tree won't look dramatically different after it's been pruned.
Before
After
Over Fertilization
Applying too much of any one nutrient can be harmful to trees

Fertilizing during drought conditions can lead to a build up of salts in the soil and can damage tree roots

Slow-release fertilizers can help to regulate the release of nutrients over time
Compost
An alternative to fertilizer
Compost is a naturally balanced mixed of microorganisms that provide a healthy medium for tree growth

Apply 2" over drip line of tree, then top with 2" of mulch
Thank you!
For More Information:
lara.schuman@austintexas.gov
treesaregood.org
6"
2"
pschuman@stedwards.edu
Paul & Lara Schuman
prezi.com - Caring for Mature Trees
Full transcript