Tree Limb Care and Repair

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All joking aside, most of our native trees and shrubs are used to this kind of up and down temperature roller coaster. The problems come when we have several warm days followed by a sudden drop in temperatures, which usually happens in March rather than February.

Not that I’m hoping for snow or freezing rain, but if it does happen in our area, watch out for any limbs that break from the weight of the precipitation. If a limb does break, make a clean cut just behind the break near a side branch or near the trunk. A clean cut will heal much better than a jagged break. In some cases, a large limb will tear the bark down the trunk. If this happens, cut the bark up near the break and use a tree wrap to put the torn bark back in place. This should be done as soon as possible after the break occurs to prevent the bark or the wood from drying out.

Now is a good time to cut back most trees and shrubs, especially those that have grown to be bigger than the space they were intended to fill. If you have plans to cut back some of your plants this year, how about trying some selective pruning rather than giving them a haircut with the hedge pruners? Selective pruning can be done by grabbing hold of the limb that has grown too far and following it back past the boundary line to a side branch and making the cut there. In most cases, this type of pruning will likely take longer, but the clean-up will be much faster. The look of the plant will be a little less formal, but the plant will be back where it needs to be.