What Is Tree Surgery?
So, what is tree surgery? The answer is many procedures. It can be as simple as pruning or as complicated as properly guying a tree.
I walk at least 30 minutes 5 days a week. I like to walk in local parks, but I’ll walk in my neighborhood if I’m running late. Almost every home in our subdivision has trees in their front yards. Some have branches that extend over the sidewalks. Last week, I was walking near nightfall when my cap became entangled in a branch. I should’ve been paying closer attention. However, the limb shouldn’t have been obstructing the walk. The following week, someone cut back the branch.
What Is Tree Surgery?
Trees may need to be cut back or thinned for multiple reasons such as:
- Traffic Interference
- View obstruction
- Power line or telephone line impedance
- Removal of dead, diseased, or damaged branches
- Shaping a tree
- Improving air circulation
- Allowing light to filter through
Types of Tree Surgery
Pruning is the most common type of tree surgery. You may need to prune your trees for many of the bullet points listed above. However, if you’re pruning healthy limbs to shape or control your bushes and trees, knowing when to trim them is essential.
“Why prune in late winter or early spring? Pruning while a plant is dormant makes it easier for the plant to recover, which is important for next year’s flowers. By pruning BEFORE any new growth starts, the plant puts energy towards producing new, healthy growth when the warmer temperatures of spring roll around. Practically speaking, it’s also a lot easier to see the true shape of deciduous plants in the winter since their foliage is gone.” — Pruning Guide for Trees and Shrubs.
Guying a Tree
What is guying a tree? The simple answer is that it’s staking but can get complicated. Before guying a damaged tree, it must be determined if there is significant root damage. Guying will not help a leaning tree that has cut roots. It also depends on the tree’s type, size, and age.
“Guying is usually used for stabilizing transplanted trees with larger diameters, 4 inches or larger. Guying anchors are usually shorter and stronger than stakes since they are driven deep into the ground and exposed only a few inches above the soil surface.” — University of Minnesota Extension — Staking and guying trees
Trees can attract lightning almost as well as a lightning rod. Your trees are often the tallest thing in your landscape, including your dwelling. It can be critical to protect special trees in your yard from lightning because lightning can and does kill trees.
“To prevent lightning damage to special trees in your yard or community, a lightning protection system may be installed. This is accomplished by attaching a series of copper cables to the tree’s highest branches and then grounding them a safe distance from the tree. If lightning strikes the tree, the current flows down the cables and safely to ground.” — Purdue University Forestry and Natural Resources Trees and Lightning
Filling a Tree Cavity
Last week, my next-door neighbor called to ask for my help chasing a raccoon from her porch. I shooed it away, clapping my hands and yelling, “Get off the porch, Rocky! My neighbor’s son asked where the raccoon lived, and I pointed to a large tree in the woods behind our homes with a cavity almost two feet around and 20 feet off the ground. I told him there’d been raccoons there for the 20 years I’d lived here.
Cavities can cause damage to a tree, especially if they hold water, and there’s another reason to consider filling a cavity. “Tree holes can be found in the trunk or branches of a tree and can easily fill with water. This makes them a perfect spot for mosquitoes to lay eggs. Filling tree holes is one way to help reduce mosquitoes in your yard.” — CDC (Center for Disease Control)
Felling a Tree
Felling a tree means cutting it down. Trees are most commonly felled when the tree has died or is a safety hazard. I remember trying to cut down a redbud tree that had sprung up next to my fence. The tree came back with a vengeance. Felling a tree is more complicated than starting your saw. I learned this the hard way.
What is tree surgery? It’s a way to improve the health and appearance of trees, reduce the risk of damage to property and people, and create a more attractive and sustainable environment.
How Can We Help You?
Berger Hargis has a company philosophy of providing personal excellence for all our services. Our growth and success have been due entirely to our commitment to honest, excellent customer service. The company is built on the referral business we have received due to this philosophy. If we can answer any questions about tree surgery, please don’t hesitate to Contact Us.
About the Author
Randy Clark is a speaker, coach, and author. He publishes a weekly blog at Randy Clark Leadership.com. Randy is passionate about social media, leadership development, and flower gardening. He’s a beer geek, and on weekends, he can be found fronting the Rock & Roll band Under the Radar. He’s the proud father of two educators; he has four amazing grandchildren and a wife who dedicates her time to helping others. Randy is the author of the Amazon bestseller The New Manager’s Workbook, a crash course in effective management