pine, pruning, trunk

This damaged pine trunk is related to lack of proper pruning

The pine in this photo had two main stems. A larger one, and a second smaller stem.

After snowfall in Beaverton, Oregon, during the Winter of 2004, the weight of snow bent the small stem sideways, splitting the union. The damage to this tree has no remedy, and the pine had to be removed. That’s about 15 years of growth gone to waste.

Some folks would say that the snow caused the problem. But the problem was lack of pruning. The small stem should have been sawed off the day the tree was planted, when it was no thicker than your thumb.

Corrective pruning should begin at planting or in the first few years, to reduce the risk of this kind of loss. It’s better to loose a small amount of foliage from a young tree, than a lot of foliage from a larger tree. Removal of the small stem at planting time may have removed one quarter of the tree, but that is a better option than what we see in this image, and the potential expense of removal.

M. D. Vaden ~ Arborist

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