One of my good friends asked me last night, “no new posts?” I have been writing but haven’t had the opportunity to post any articles because I usually like to include pictures with most of my posts. So here we are and I still haven’t taken many new pictures, but today I have a few to share with everyone.
New York Autumn Color is only the adventurous title. The key point to this article is about pruning in the Fall. What can you prune and how much (into a plant or tree) can you cut (reduce)? The truth is you can prune at any time throughout the year. The question remains how will my plants react to the pruning I perform? If you know this answer you can begin doing what I have been perfecting for 12 years (seems like a lifetime). Restoration, developmental and maintenance pruning of fine gardens and landscapes.
Trees are most vulnerable to die-back, disease and insect attack when they are weakened (drought, root compaction, flooding, storm damage and extreme and extended swings in temperature). What occurs in stressed trees is a trees ability to chemically maintain the balance between root systems, leaf surface and wood mass.
NOW THAT I HAVE OVERWHELMED YOU ALL, YOU NEED TO REMEMBER , “NO CUTTING INTO YOUR PLANTS TOO HEAVILY BETWEEN OCTOBER 15TH AND DECEMBER 25.”
The reason for being careful while pruning this time of year is based on what functions the tree is performing prior to the winter. A tree needs to close itself off (COMPARTMENTALIZE) and protect itself from insect and disease after a limb has been pruned. If that limb is too large, the tree will not be able to compartmentalize that new wound fast enough, creating an environment for further damage to occur. This theory is centered around the idea that trees don’t heal, they close them-selves off from further damage. If this barrier that they build between healthy wood and exposed (new cuts) wood, is broken down or is compromised in any way, that area of the tree becomes vulnerable to further damage and possible die-back.
The greatest time of year to prune larger specimens (deciduous trees) would be in the late winter, prior to the swelling of new bud growth. This time of year is so important because trees expend the greatest amount of energy during this spring time explosion of life. So, if we know that a tree sends out the greatest amount of energy for new growth (in the spring-time) it makes sense that, that same tree will have the greatest ability to close itself off to further damage after being cut into. This does not mean you only prune between January and Early April. What it demonstrates is one example of how to best manage the growth and development of the plants and trees around your property.
Evergreen like Pine Trees need mid spring pruning to maintain their ornamental form, while other evergreens like Leyland Cypress need to be reviewed and pruned in early summer. Evergreens like Boxwoods and certain Ilex need to be pruned and managed at least twice (during the growing season) and maybe more if you like very formal presentations. Woody ornamentals are an entirely different animal which I will address in the late winter (February). For right now everyone needs to consider the time of year and what functions a tree is performing to maintain itself. To demonstrate my point, before the winter trees store energy into their root systems. This is their greatest priority. If you are going to disturb this process you need to understand what forces will be working with you and what forces you will be fighting against you.
NOTE: VERY IMPORTANT NOTE:
IF YOU DON’T KNOW AND ARE CONCERNED ABOUT A VERY IMPORTANT FEATURE ON YOUR PROPERTY, DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ASK A QUESTION. MOST OF THE TIME NOTHING WILL HAPPEN TO YOUR TREES, GARDENS AND LANDSCAPES WHILE YOU TAKE A MOMENT AND EDUCATE YOURSELF.
THIS ARTICLE GOES OUT TO MY FRIEND BRYAN WHO IS ALWAYS ATTENTIVE TO MY WEBSITE.