Winter is a great time to make little adjustments to your landscape trees. Since the foliage is long gone, we can see exactly what’s going on. So, check your landscape trees before spring hits. Like I did this winter.
A weird branch
Once or twice a year I walk past this boulevard tree to buy unhealthy stuff at a nearby 7-11, and I’m surprised this lower branch is still growing. It looks weird and should be removed so the tree crown looks natural. We don’t really want branches growing this low on the trunk. Plus, it makes lawn care awkward.
A new baby tree
I love trees and I love planting them. The more the better. But, this specimen just popped up in a boulevard lawn, like one of those trees you get for free on Earth Day. And I’m worried about it because it doesn’t have a clearly defined tree well.
I would bet my after-tax dollars that it will eventually be involved in a nasty collision with a lawn care machine; and the machine will win. Unless we build a tree well to give the machines space to operate.
We also know that lawn grasses are tough competitors, so this evergreen isn’t likely to take off.
A broken branch
Broken branches must be removed as soon as you notice them because they can allow diseases to enter the tree; and they look awful. I cut out this snake bark maple branch soon after I took the photo. Be like me. Don’t tolerate broken branches.
A dead branch
This close up shows the spot where a dead branch went missing. It’s important to note that a third year apprentice in landscape horticulture made the cut. Sadly, he isn’t continuing with his studies after struggling in level three.
But the cut looks fine. There is no stub poking out, waiting to die off and potentially allow disease into the tree. Also, the cut isn’t too close to the bark branch collar. When this zone is damaged, the tree struggles to close up the wound.
When you remove branches, get it just right.
Winter is very slow compared to spring, so take advantage of it by checking your landscape trees. It’s easy to spot and make adjustments when you can see the crowns; and there is plenty of time.
Take good care of your landscape trees. Ask for help, if you need it.