By JO ERBSKORN
About three weeks ago Art and I pruned the front crab trees. If you’ve never done this before, it is a ton of work and just as much cleanup work. This past weekend Art and I were having dinner on the side porch which we often do in the summer and one of us mentioned how full and lush the trees are now. We tried a new approach to the trees and they responded better than we could ever have hoped. Now comes an interesting thing that happened Sunday.
Our church sermon this week was on doing the same old thing with usually the same old outcomes which could be good or bad. Sometimes when something is tried and true you get great results because you’ve done it that way many times before and know the chances of it working. Other times we are in a rut and just keep going to the old way out of habit, even though the outcome may be less than the desired. There are times in our life we have to move on, no matter how hard it is. Most folks only encounter this dilemma occasionally; others such as myself seem to face it regularly. Since this is a gardening article you can guess I’m going to give an example of something about the garden.
Cabtree pruning. First let me say that my front trees grow oddly due to the city breaking them when they put in the new sewer project several years ago. We coated them with tree tar and put tree wrap on them. Every spring we have to prune them back to keep visibility open. Normally we cut the overhanging branches off that are obstructing the view from the corner or walk.
This year I got right into the tree and pulled out all the dead stuff and the small new growth branches that come up everywhere. This let the air circulate and keeps fungus from developing which we had a problem with a few years ago. If I had stayed with the way I had been pruning them, we would have to use fungicide again and we don’t need it. Unfortunately, the side crabs need the same treatment and with all the rain it just hasn’t happened. So while I realize the sermon was about relationships and I agree the same old ruts get the same old outcomes, and changing your route may give you a more positive outcome, it obviously applies to gardening, too.
I did a little research on pruning trees. You should prune off the dead or dying branches to prevent harm, damage to your property and further decay to the tree. Pruning improves the overall appearance of your tree, as well as changes the structure to prevent weak crotches and branches competing for space due to overcrowding. It increases sun exposure and air circulation, improving the tree's overall health.
If the trees are fruit bearing, pruning will increase the yield and quality of fruit. Newly planted trees should be pruned for shape and to make up for root loss. Pruning a tree can open up your property and increase your view. The pruning times of the year vary with the kind of tree. You should know your tree or risk harming it.
If it is a huge tree or you are just not sure about what to do, call a tree pro. We have a few private tree professionals living in our area.