Tree Pruning And Disease: Common Vectors To Avoid

Regular annual pruning will keep your trees healthy and in good form, as long as proper hygiene practices are implemented. There are a few situations that can lead to the spread of problems like disease and pests, but these can be mitigated with good pruning practices that prevent the most likely disease and pest vectors.

Pruning Tools 

The tools used to prune the tree are the most likely vector to spread disease and pests around the yard. Tree services use specific sanitation practices to kill any possible unwanted organisms that cling to tools, such as fungal spores or viruses.

Methods vary, but generally, they entail dipping the tool into a sanitizing solution or wiping the blades of the tools with the solution between pruning cuts on different trees or after pruning out obviously diseased wood. 

Removal Debris

After pruning, there is generally a lot of twigs, leaves, and similar debris scattered beneath the tree. Disease organisms, along with pests and their eggs, can remain viable inside the debris long after the pruning is over with. If the debris is left on the ground, then these organisms can make their way back into the original tree or they may invade a nearby tree.

Your pruning service should offer a removal solution for all the debris that is left over after pruning. If you opt to have the debris turned into mulch for your yard, then only choose wood from healthy trees for mulching.

Open Wounds

Open wounds, whether as a result of previous damage or pruning errors, can be an opening for the disease organisms and pests to get into the main trunk of the tree. The tree trimmer will clean up the bark around any wounds so that the edges are smooth, which encourages the wound to heal more quickly. Open wounds aren't usually painted over unless there is a specific pest concern, as the old method of painting wounds may actually inhibit healing. 

Branch stubs are another wound issue. They can be due to a poorly placed pruning cut or be due to branch breakage during a storm. Your tree service should prune back any stubs so they are flush to a budding point on the branch, or flush to the spot where they connect to the trunk or a larger branch. 

Contact a local tree pruning service today to learn more about taking care of your landscape trees.