How do trees react to pruning?

Trees, being complex organisms, respond to pruning in their development, growth of the root and amount of tissue that the leaf produces.
Pruning creates serious wounds on the tree, however, if the pruning is correct, a healthy tree can recover completely.

Trees have a natural defense mechanism that helps them regenerate easily, called CODIT (compartmentalization of decomposition in trees), it is the healing of the affected areas to prevent the decomposition from advancing from the superficial wound to the interior of the tree.

The CODIT process allows the tree to survive the wounds generated by pruning. However, it is important to reduce wounds to facilitate a faster recovery. The ability to seal wounds depends a lot on the age, health and species of the tree.

The healthier the tree is, the better it will recover from wounds. Younger trees and those that are not suffering from stress can recover more quickly than those subjected to stress, pests or other problems.

Some tree species have more resources to recover more easily than others.

As long as the pruning cuts are adequate they can allow the callus growth to start closing the cut area more easily.

The larger the cut, the more time and resources are needed for recovery. Small cuts are always better than larger ones. Smaller cuts reduce the amount of tissue exposed to pathogens and accelerate the time to heal.

Cuttings from a pruning of trees such as maples, birches, poplars, and apple trees should be no more than 2 inches in diameter, while in most oaks, elms, lindens and hornbeams will be 4 inches in diameter. Remember, limiting the size of the wound allows the tree to seal better.

The size of the wound and the effectiveness of the tree's ability to seal the wound are crucial for lasting health. Pruning can strengthen a stem by promoting growth or stimulating additional branching, but the effects depend on both the number of cuts and the time of practice.

Pruning not only affects the foliage, but also the roots. Fewer green leaves to produce food can also mean fewer roots and less storage capacity.

Excessive removal of large branches and large amounts of leaves reduces the tree's ability to generate food and energy.

Excessive pruning creates serious root problems and can radically limit their growth and affect the ability to absorb the amount of water needed and transport important nutrients.

Before starting to prune the trees, do not forget:

  • Each cut has the potential to change the tree forever.
  • The removal of the branches affects the ability of the tree to capture sunlight and produce nutrients.
  • The removal of large branches can impact shape and geometry, which affects stability.
  • Inconsiderate removal of the branches may leave the tree susceptible to decomposition.

Saul Saldana Jr

Triple S Tree