Tree Maintenance

Pruning Your Trees: Part Two

Thank you for continuing with our article on how to prune your tree. Here in the Tri-Cities, we have a lot of need for pruning trees and tree maintenance. Let’s continue:

There are three steps to pruning large branches.

  • Make a small wedge shaped cut on the underside of the branch just on the branch side of the stem collar. This will break the bark at that point and prevent a tear from running along the bark and stem tissue.
  • A little further along the branch, starting towards the top of the branch, cut all the way through the branch leaving a stub end.
  • Lastly, make a third cut parallel to and just on the branch side of the of the stem collar to reduce the length of the stub as much as possible.

A procedure similar to this is used in pruning one of two branches (or one large branch and a stem) joined together in a ‘U’ or ‘V’ notch. Make the first notch cut on the underside of the branch you’re pruning well up from the crotch. For the next cut, cut completely through the branch from inside the notch up from the ridge of bark joining the two branches. Finally, in order to shorten the stub that is remaining, make the third cut just to one side of the branch bark ridge and roughly parallel to it.

The dormant season, late fall or winter, is the best time to prune although dead branches can and should be removed at any time. Pruning during the dormant period minimizes sap loss and subsequent stress to the tree. It also minimizes the risk of fungus infection or insect infestation as both fungi and insects are likely to be in dormancy at the same time as the tree. Finally, in the case of deciduous trees, pruning when the leaves are off will give you a better idea of how your pruning will affect the shape of the tree.

In the next section, we will discuss the steps necessary in pruning your trees

Continue to Part 3 of Why To Prune Your Tree Here

How to Burn a Tree Stump

You will find a list of materials you will need to burn a tree stump as well as directions on how to do this yourself listed below. Also, a few common-sense tips before you get started:

  • Always check with your fire department before you get started

  • never burn your stump during a burn or fire ban

  • make sure that you store your potassium nitrate in a safe location

Materials Needed to Burn a Stump

  • Drill with a one-inch spade bit or other wood-boring bit

  • 8-inch to 10-inch extender for the bit

  • Saltpeter or Potassium nitrate

  • Garden trowel or plastic scoop

  • A bucket of water

  • A cup with spout or a funnel

  • Pieces of dry scrap wood

  • Matches, lighter, or starter kit

  • A shovel

Step-by-Step Directions for Burning a Stump

  1. Attach the spade bit and the extender to your drill. Drill a hole from the top down into the center of the stump with your drill at a 30-degree angle. The hole should be about eight to 10 inches deep.

  2. Clean all of the debris out of the hole. Continue boring holes in the stump, leaving about one inch of space between each hole.

  3. Use the plastic scoop or trowel to scoop potassium nitrate into each hole.

  4. Pour hot water into each hole. You can either dip a cup with a spout into the bucket or insert a funnel into each hole and pour the water directly from the bucket.

  5. Continue pouring water into the holes until all of the potassium nitrate has dissolved. The hot water will help to distribute the substance through the stump.

  6. Place the scrap wood on top of the stump. Alternatively, you can construct a tepee-like shape with the wood, placing one end on the ground and bringing the ends together above the stump in a cone shape.

  7. Light the scrap wood and wait for the stump to ignite. Allow the stump to smolder until all of the wood has turned to ash.

  8. Use your shovel to break up any large roots or stump pieces that are left over. Bring in soil to fill the hole as needed.

Now, if you do not feel comfortable or simply don’t have the proper tools to perform a stump burning, we are happy to do any of this work for you.

Also, if you have multiple trees to remove or just don’t have the time to do it, we are here for you. We can handle all of your tree removal needs and maintenance in the Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Richland, Pasco) and even West Richland. We look forward to being your preferred tree removal service provider.

How To Cut: Part Three

1428174_22265680Safety equipment: Work Gloves

Work gloves made of leather or synthetic material are always a good idea. You will be handling rough wood that at the very least will give you splinters. Many plants, such as junipers, also leak sap that irritates the skin. Safety glasses should always be worn when you will be working inside or very close to a shrub, or working near a partner: it is very easy for the thin tips of branches to snap whiplike into your face.

Are the branches you’ll be working on too long or heavy? If you are about to prune a tree or large shrub, you will encounter branches that are heavy. One sign of this is the wood bows towards the ground before or while you cut. If this describes what you’re working on, one cut won’t hack it. You must use a preliminary cut to relieve the weight before your final pruning cut.

If using pruners, get the branch as deep between the blades as you can before making your cut. You will get the most leverage, and the strongest cut, by using this method. You will be tempted to use just the tips of the blades to cut because it is faster, but this is hard on your hands and dulls the tool faster.

Now, if you do not feel comfortable or simply don’t have the proper tools to do any tree maintenance, we are more than happy to do any of this work for you. Also, if you have multiple trees to remove or just don’t have the time to do it, we are here for you. We can handle all of your tree maintenance needs and services in the Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Richland, Pasco) and even West Richland. We look forward to being your preferred tree maintenance provider.

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