Broccoli Trees. What?!
August 6, 2013
Proper pruning is crucial to both the survival and aesthetics of your valuable trees. Too often, we see unskilled individuals butchering trees in ways that can permanently damage them. One of our favorites? The Broccoli Tree. Yes, you read that right. But what on earth is a Broccoli Tree?
Ok, we're not literally talking about broccoli. But if you look at the shape of our sample broccoli tree here, you get the idea. Lots of bare trunk and stems, with only a bit of leaf canopy left up top. It's just cruel! But why?
So often, homeowners are desparately trying to grow grass lawns under large shade trees. Turf grass, however, is not a shade plant. Grasses like Bermuda require a good 6 hours of direct sun and even St. Augustine needs 4 hours of sun a day to thrive. Yet in this pursuit, homeowners will have their trees pruned severely so that the canopy is raised up to it's limits, or beyond. This leaves the tree with little precious leaf cover with with to make food for itself.
When a tree is striped of much of it's interior lateral branches and foliage, as were the trees in these photos, it weakens them due to their reduced capacity for photosynthesis and water and nutrient delivery. It also displaces foliar weight to the ends of branches, which can weaken the entire tree's structure and result breakage of large limbs. It also exposes the tree to sunburned bark tissue, water sprouts, and other issues. Any necessary thinning should always be done by removing some of the branches from the edge of the canopy, not from the interior! No more than 15% to 20% of live foliage should ever be removed from a mature tree at one time. Typically 5% to 10% removal at any given time is adequate.
Qualified certifed arborists, like we have here at Preservation Tree, will make sure your trees are properly pruned and never severely damaged like the trees pictured. Remember, just because someone has a truck with "tree service" painted on the side and a chain saw, doesn't mean they have any idea what they are doing. If your trees need proper pruning, or if your trees have been previously butchered like these, please call us today!