Lateral Pruning For Trees Fit and Trim
In yards all around Athens, youve seen trees that have been trimmed via topping or rounding over. The stubby remains of branches stand in contrast to hundreds of willowy sprouts or suckers that grow from the ends of the cut limbs. Those sprouts can grow up to six feet in a single season on some tree species, which means the major trim job really didnt accomplish what was needed.
Though rounding over is common, it is not healthiest for the tree. It encourages wood decay in the remaining stubs. Plus, the rapid growth of sprouts means the tree has to be trimmed again in no time, increasing overall trimming costs. So, as part of our new program we are going away from the round-over method.
In our new program, AUB will use the lateral trimming method. This method of trimming has been the recommended method used by virtually all utility companies in the Southeast. Foresters for Georgia Power Co. have used the lateral trim for almost 30 years. This method of trimming has been standard practice in the tree-trimming industry for decades. Lateral trimming is simply removing the offending branch back to the closest lateral branch that is growing away from the power line. The lateral branch left on the tree will re-direct the growth of the tree, reducing sprouting, and since the lateral is already attached to the branch by several growth rings, the branch is much stronger. The wound on the branch is smaller and heals easier, reducing the possibility of decay. Lateral trimming may result in removing branches beyond the required minimum 15 feet of clearance.
Lateral pruning re-directs the growth of the tree away from the power line and is healthier for the tree. Lateral trimming will mean less trimming in the future which will reduce the visual impact of the trimming process and the cost of trimming the tree.
For more information regarding effective and healthy tree trimming methods, visit the website of the National Arbor Day Foundation.