As we discussed in our previous blog on how to winterize trees, we explained that a tree is still alive and needs to remain healthy during dormant season. Removing deadwood is a vital part of the tree winterizing process.
Let’s discuss why we remove deadwood from trees…
Deadwood removal is preventative tree care. It is the process of removing dead branches and limbs from trees, in order to prevent tree decay, insect & pest infestation, tree disease, and preserve the tree’s natural resources. It also helps the aesthetic appeal of the tree. Simply stated, removing deadwood makes your tree investment count!
Removing dead branches and damaged tree limbs encourages wound closure and prevents diseases from entering the tree. Many homeowners wait until a severe storm snaps dead branches off the tree. This exposes the heartwood of the tree. The rough ends of the broken limbs and branches make a perfect home for unwanted insects. Water is also able to stand here, which creates moisture that favors fungus and decay. Trunk rot anyone? No thanks!
But dead wood is not just broken or damaged limbs…
Deadwood is also a natural process for many fast growing trees such as locusts, silver maples, and birch trees. Interior branches receive less sunlight and are more prone to cold damage during winter. The tree sends more sap to those branches which support the tree. Eventually the sap supply to the less productive branch is cut off, and the branch dies. If the branch is more than 1” in diameter and breaks off, it leaves a large wound.
Where to look for deadwood removal in your yard…
Focus on trees that are in your immediate front or backyard, and trees that are in high-use areas such as near a deck, patio, fire pit, or sidewalk.
All wood will eventually decay, but this process takes too long in urban settings to be safe. Dead branches become brittle which makes them prone to breaking off during storms and even light winds. A branch may cause property damage or injury when it snaps. To reduce the risk of property damage and liability, focus on trees that could fall on power lines, buildings, vehicles, and passerby’s.
Are there benefits to keeping deadwood on my property?
When deadwood is removed from the canopy, you may consider keeping it on the property. The nutrient bed benefits the landscape by encouraging a forest soil microbiology. The soil keeps moisture longer, yet drains better. It increases the ability of your trees and other surrounding plants to absorb nutrients from the soil. You will see healthier foliage and less tree disease in the future when employing this method.
If creating a natural woodlands in your yard is a priority, seek the advice of a certified arborist. While keeping the deadwood is beneficial, placement is key for building a sustainable eco-system.
If you are not confident in your skills for tree pruning, deadwood or tree removal, please call San Jose’s tree experts – Arbortek Trees. We are local, licensed, ISA certified, and insured – and we care a lot about the health of our Santa Clara County communities’ trees!