When is the Best time for Rowan Tree Pruning?

Autumn to early winter

Expert insight into the best time to prune a rowan tree; why rowan tree pruning is important, and how to identify common rowan tree diseases.

The rowan tree, or Sorbus aucuparia to give it its Latin name, is a UK native species. Rowan is also known as the mountain ash due to the fact it is able to survive high altitudes, and because its pinnate leaves are very similar to those of the common ash. However, the two are not related.

Other names for the rowan tree are witch wiggin, keirn and cuirn. The tree is deciduous and will grow up to 15 metres in height, and can live for up to 200 years. In spring, the rowan tree will blossom with beautiful white flowers, followed by stunning bursts of red berries in late summer to early autumn.

The name witch wiggin came about as the rowan tree was once upon a time planted by homeowners in order to protect against witches; in Ireland it was grown to ward off evil spirits and in Wales the rowan tree was a popular sight in churchyards. In Scotland, the felling of a rowan tree was forbidden. The bright red berries were considered the best possible colour to fight evil, which is why the rowan tree has been associated with witches and magic for many years and was in fact known in Celtic as the wizards’ tree.

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Why prune a rowan tree?

The abundant fruit of the rowan tree can weigh heavy on its branches, so it’s vital to regularly prune the tree in order to encourage a strong framework to support it. Without a strong framework, you will find branches regularly breaking off under the strain. This is both dangerous and not healthy for the tree.

Regular pruning generally promotes the good health of a tree by allowing air and sunlight to circulate. It also allows the wind to pass through easily, which prevents storm damage.

The rowan tree also benefits from having damaged or crossing branches removed so as to leave a clear trunk up to two metres in height.

When is the best time for rowan tree pruning?

When you prune a tree, it will naturally bleed sap if it is actively growing. This is why it’s always best practice to avoid pruning during the growing season. In the case of the rowan tree, autumn to early winter is considered the best time.

If you are pruning to remove deadwood for safety reasons, you can proceed at any time if there is an impending risk of personal injury or property damage.

What to look for when pruning a rowan tree

The rowan tree can suffer from fireblight, and may be susceptible to silver leaf disease. Look out for wilting blossoms, cankers and oozing slime; or in the case of silver leaf disease, silvery leaves and branch dieback. Aphids, blister mites and sawflies can also be an issue.

Tree Preservation Orders and Rowan Tree Pruning

You should never proceed with any tree work including rowan tree pruning unless you are satisfied that there is not a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) in place. If there is, will need permission before you go ahead. This can take up to eight weeks to come through. What’s more, if the tree is situated in a conservation area, permission must be gained before commencing works of any kind.

The importance of rowan tree pruning expertise

A rowan tree is a very attractive tree and often used for ornamental purposes. If you want to maintain its beauty and ensure its long term health, you will need to take good care of it.

Tree surgeons are trained to spot diseases and pest infestations in all species of trees. They are qualified in treating these issues and are also fully aware of the best pruning techniques, and the best time to do so. If you are in any way unsure as to how to best care for your rowan tree, it is advisable to seek expert assistance. Always make sure you check the qualifications and references of your chosen tree surgeon.

If you have a rowan tree that needs pruning, why not talk to Tree Works? As fully qualified and highly experienced Trading Standards and local authority approved tree surgeons, we are able to offer specialist expertise across all areas of rowan tree pruning. For a free, no-obligation quotation, contact our friendly experts on 07781 416 354 or get in touch here.

When Should I Prune my Sycamore Tree?

Expert insight into the best time to prune a sycamore tree; why sycamore tree pruning is important, and how to identify common sycamore tree diseases.

The sycamore tree belongs to the maple family. Of the Latin Acer pseudoplatanus, the sycamore is a large broadleaf deciduous tree that is native to southern, eastern and central parts of Europe. It is thought to have come to the United Kingdom during the Middle Ages, and is now considered a naturalised species, highly prevalent across the country due to the ability of its winged seeds to spread and reseed with ease.

The domed canopy of the sycamore tree is particularly striking, and the tree will grow to heights of up to 35 metres and can live more than 400 years. You’ll find it along avenues and in gardens and parks, creating much called for shade.

Why prune a sycamore tree?

The sycamore tree has a tendency to grow into an odd shape as it matures, often with drooping branches and extreme angles. Sometimes the branches will wrap around the tree. Pruning is essential to manage the tree’s shape, and it will also promote new growth.

Sycamore trees benefit from pollarding to keep them at an ideal height, particularly if they are growing along avenues and on public land. Pollarding also helps create a nicely rounded canopy, but this needs to start as a continuous process from the tree’s early days and then carry on every year for shape and size maintenance.

Sycamore pollarding or crown reduction is particularly useful when light is being blocked and there is the risk of neighbour disputes arising.

When is the best time for sycamore tree pruning?

Because sycamore sap is at its most prevalent during the spring, it is important to refrain from pruning this tree during this season as it could lead to fatal consequences. Bleeding sap attracts bugs, which bring with them disease.

If you are pruning a sycamore tree simply to remove unwanted branches, it is best to undertake the work in June. However, if you are looking to heavily prune the tree, you should leave it until later in the year, preferably between October and December. Proceed with caution though, because you need to avoid damaging the collars of the branches by keeping the pruning flush with them. Remember, open wounds are potential points of disease ingress, so all pruning should work to minimise this. If in doubt, consult a qualified tree surgeon.

You will also need to remove dead wood on a regular basis, and crown thinning is also a wise move so as to allow light and air to penetrate, which is vital for the prolonged health of the tree. Wherever possible, carry out this work during the month of June.

A tree surgeon will inspect the tree and work out whether certain limbs will be able to carry the weight of the leaves. If they aren’t, then they will remove them, because they will become unsafe and could stress the tree as a result.

What to look for during sycamore tree pruning

The sycamore tree is prone to sooty bark (cryptostroma corticale). Where the weather has been continuously hot, sooty bark will cause partial or total crown wilting which can eventually be fatal.

Verticillium wilt is a fungal disease that gets into the tree through the roots. It causes wilting, yellowing leaves and dieback. Phytophthora root rot causes yellow, sparse or wilting foliage together with branch dieback.

Leaf spot and tar spot are also common issues, although these aren’t considered too dangerous. Bark stripping by grey squirrels is another low key problem.

Pest wise, the horse chestnut scale insect is one of the main issues, although it doesn’t tend to affect the trees unless they have been deprived of nutrients or water. Look out for white circular egg masses partially covered by brown shells on trunks and larger branches. These will appear in early summer and are caused by a sap-sucking insect.

Tree Preservation Orders

You should never go ahead with any tree work, including sycamore tree pruning, before learning whether there is a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) in place. If so, you have to seek permission for the works. This will usually take up to eight weeks to materialise. Furthermore, if the tree is situated in a conservation area, permission must be obtained before starting works of any kind.

The importance of sycamore tree pruning expertise

The health and safety of your sycamore tree, and its overall appearance and attractiveness, is all down to the way you care for it.

Tree surgeons are trained to identify diseases and pest infestations and are fully aware of exactly how to best treat them. In addition, they are trained to know the best pruning methods and have the knowledge to advise you on the correct procedures so that you can make sure it benefits in every way.

If you have a sycamore tree that needs pruning, why not get in touch with Tree Works? As fully qualified and highly experienced tree surgeons, we are able to offer specialist expertise across all areas of sycamore tree pruning. For a free, no-obligation quotation, contact our friendly experts on 07781 416 354 or get in touch here.

When Should I Prune my Douglas Fir Tree?

When is the best time to prune a Douglas fir tree? Why is Douglas fir tree pruning so crucial? And what are the most prevalent Douglas fir tree diseases? Read on to find out…

The Douglas fir, or Pseudotsuga menziesii to give it its scientific name, in a non UK native evergreen tree from the Pinaceae family which was introduced to the UK in 1827 by Scottish botanist David Douglas. The tree has the ability to grow to 55 metres in height and can live for more than 1,000 years, thriving mostly in western regions of the UK where rainfall levels are higher.

Used in the manufacture of beams, furniture, veneers, decking, flooring and cladding, the timber of the Douglas fir is of exceptional commercial importance.

The Douglas fir produces large cones of up to 10cm in length and the tree itself tends to grow into a distinctive conical shape.

Why prune a Douglas fir tree?

Fir trees by nature need little or no pruning in maturity. The distinctive shape is generally maintained naturally and is very appealing without any intervention.

However, there may be a few instances where the pruning of evergreen trees such as the Douglas fir becomes necessary.

As with any tree, pruning out branches that have become diseased or damaged, and removing dead wood, is highly recommended. Disease has a tendency to spread quickly, so early removal of the affected branches is vital. Dead branches also offer attractive habitats for insects, in particularly the boring type, which could be potentially fatal for the tree.

Douglas fir tree pruning will also help to boost the bushiness of the tree, prompting it to look fuller and thicker. This is only providing the pruning is undertaken at the right time, and is not overly harsh, otherwise you could permanently impair its shape and appearance.

It is important to be aware that evergreen trees grow from a central leader. This means that pruning techniques such as crown reduction or any practice that removes the top part of the trunk must be avoided, otherwise the height will be reduced, but the width will continue to expand, which will result in a rather odd shaped tree.

Removing lower limbs is also a no-go, even if you are trying to create space underneath the tree.

If when the tree is young you find central leaders are competing, you can remove the weaker ones in order to leave the strongest to take the tree to maturity.

When pruning, try to remember the rule of thirds: be sure to only ever remove up to a third of the tree at any one time, otherwise you could cause unnecessary stress to the tree from which it will take a long time to recover.

When is the best time for Douglas fir tree pruning?

The best time to prune a Douglas fir tree is during their dormant phase, which is early spring, before any new growth commences, or during their semi-dormant phase in mid-summer. Early spring is preferable as the new growth will quickly fill the gaps.

The new growth that emanates from an evergreen tree is known as ‘candles’; this is down to the candle-like shape of the branch tips. If you are looking to keep the tree in a more compact format, then cutting the candles back halfway before the needles unfold is the best course of action. Candling usually occurs between late March and mid-May depending on the local climate. Be sure to avoid pruning once the new needles have opened fully, otherwise the tree may end up with a misshapen appearance, because it will not usually be able to replace its growing tips.

What to look for when pruning a Douglas fir tree

The Douglas fir is susceptible to a variety of fungal diseases. Douglas fir adelgids (Adelges cooleyi) can also be an issue in some cases. These are aphid-like insects that are partial to most types of conifers. They feed by tapping into the tree and extracting sap. Infestations can lead to branch dieback, growth deformation and sometimes even death of the tree. Look out for fluffy white wax on the foliage as well as sooty moulds and mottling. Galls may also form which can affect the growth of new shoots.

Thankfully, much of the damage caused by adelgids is often minor and is usually well tolerated by the tree.

Tree Preservation Orders

You must never go ahead with any tree work if there is a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) in place. Verify this before you proceed and if you do find there is an Order in place then you will need to apply to the local authority for permission to take action. This may take up to eight weeks to transpire. Also, if the tree is situated in a conservation area, you’ll need express permission before undertaking works of any kind.

The importance of Douglas Fir tree pruning expertise

The only way to guarantee the best possible care and professional attention with regard to your Douglas fir tree is to engage the expert assistance of a suitably qualified tree surgeon. They will know exactly how and when to prune your Douglas fir tree and will also be in the best position to identify and deal with any diseases or pest infestations, such as adelgids.

When selecting a tree surgeon, always make certain you request checkable references and certificates that document their qualifications so you can be sure they are relevant. In addition, ask to see insurance documents so you have total reassurance that you are covered for the work being carried out. Lastly, if you can, try to enlist a tree surgeon with Trading Standards and local authority approval for a guarantee of quality and value for money.

If you have a Douglas fir tree that needs pruning or trimming, why not contact Tree Works? As fully qualified and highly experienced Trading Standards and local authority approved tree surgeons, we are able to offer specialist expertise across all aspects of Douglas fir tree pruning. For a free, no-obligation quotation, get in touch with our friendly experts on 07781 416 354 or get in touch here.

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