Dead Wood

treehumper

Well-Known Member
If that xylem has been plugged with gums, resins, tyloses, and/or other various secondary metabolites, how much water or air movement is actually going into deadwood from living sapwood? I dont know but I suspect very little
Maybe we can get some scientist to do the research?:aburrido:
 

JD3000

Most well-known member
I already understand the principles of physics involved in falling and rigging trees, and plant biology to the extent that it effects the way trees should be pruned. I understand them and their practical application better than ANY scientist... In other words there is no scientist in the world that can go out an perform at a level anywhere close... That may sound egotistical, but lets look carefully at the statement.... DO you think any scientist that studies a given sport can perform better than the sport's top athletes... It's not even close.. And there is nothing egotistical about it.. It's just common sense...

Its not that I haven't learned anything from science (that would be absurd.... you've mis-interpreted my statements). It's that I already know what I need to know. (for the most part). So the scientists have been fumbling around for decades and still haven't figured out how to prune a tree.... I HAVE... It's pretty simple actually... no live cuts on the main stem(s), or if the client insists only smaller cuts on the main stem(s), absolutely no live cuts over 4", even if you have to leave a stub, leave most epicormic shoots (sprouts), they are especially important to leave if they are near an existing wound, and if the client insists, then rather than remove all sprouts, just thin and shape, with the long term goal of having the sprouts develop into small limbs. It's also possible to leave a few stub on an initial heavy prune with the goal of letting those stub fill up with sprouts, rather than the trunk. Then 1-3 years later, the tree will have normalized its growth, the stubs that are loaded with sprouts can be removed with a clean target cut (or close to a target cut), without worrying about the tree filling up with new sprouts (this is especially helpful on ornamental fruit trees that require sever reduction in size). That is the best way to prevent an ornamental tree from filling up with sprouts after a hard prune.

and reduce mature hardwoods by making smaller cuts at the branch tips, especially on long, heavy over -extended laterals. If the limbs are over-extended heavily, or have structural defects they can be reduced as needed, up to 90% (leaving only a stub) on any individual limb, with the goal of minimizing overall loss of leaves, so that you can hit several lateral branches very hard, if needed, but then go light on the rest of the tree. In general leave the center of the tree and the uprights alone NO "CLEANING". Unless there are structural defects, let the tree grow up, just bring in the sides. If a tree has structural defects, it may be necessary to make large reduction cuts on the uprights, but in general try to avoid it, especially on certain species. When pruning to reduce stress on structural compromised trees, take the weight from the most leveraged place possible, which are the branch tips, especially the tops. Depending on the degree of the structural issue, and the risk of damage should the tree fail, you may need to go very heavy on the reduction cuts. Knowing how sensitive the species is is important, so you don't kill the tree. There are many species that can handle the European style 20' reductions, but many can't. So only take off as much as the tree can handle. No formula, just experience and instincts..

And NO ELEVATION except as absolutely required for human needs, The goal is to keep shade on the trunk and roots. So it is especially important to leave shade on the western and southwestern sides of the tree. if there are no other trees shading the trunk and roots, its very important to keep as much shade on the root and trunk as possible, with certain species being more sensitive than others.

And NO target cuts on anything big (roughly 3" or more), unless the target is perfectly clear. Always leave a stub long enough to be absolutely certain the branch protection zone is not violated. And if you know you'll be back to prune the tree again in the next few years, you can leave a sizable stub, 6 or 8 long, or even longer. If the stub sprouts, it can be pruned to train the new growth. if not, finish the cut once the limb is visibly dead and easily distinguished from the live collar on the trunk.

When making small cuts on the branch tips, 1" and under, target pruning really makes no difference. It's just quicker and easier to make the cuts some distance away from the branch union, and leave a small stub. this will have zero effect on the tree's health.

That's a quick primer... there is a little more to it, but those are the basics
Thats a pretty damn good tree pruning primer. We could nitpick here and there but many things are situational as you mentioned.

But you didn't come up with it all on your own.
 

RopeShield

Well-Known Member
water will move out of the wood as a vapour or molecule
wood is a permeable substance, it has pores, and spaces intercellular and cellularly
water loss is guaranteed
 
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JD3000

Most well-known member
Sure apoplast and the symplast blah blah blah

As far as deadwood wood being a significant sink from the living portions for water, minerals, or photosynthate I don't buy it
 
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JD3000

Most well-known member
By your same reasoning compartmentalization is a weak process and therefore trees should be short-lived.

Suck that straw out of a lousy beer Tom!
:birra:
 

RopeShield

Well-Known Member
Compartmentalization is dependent on air. Air is vapour or gas. Wood exposed to atmosphere initiates codit.
H2O moves through this barrier, not easily, not difficult either. Vapour or gas or molecules. How much? I guess enough to adversely effect tree health. Codit would not exist if it was impermeable
 

Daniel

Well-Known Member
Thats a pretty damn good tree pruning primer. We could nitpick here and there but many things are situational as you mentioned.

But you didn't come up with it all on your own.
Ya, in like 30 minutes, just off the top of my head... pretty much stream of consciousness, with one paragraph added.. You surprised??? I can send some unlisted link if you or anyone else wants more "evidence"
 
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JD3000

Most well-known member
I believe you wrote it Daniel, I mean that the cuts and processes described aren't unique or original. You do describe some more "New School" approaches however as opposed to older concepts such as canopy thinning employing almost exclusively removal/natural target cuts.
 

JD3000

Most well-known member
Codit would not exist if it was impermeable
Expound on this please. My understanding is that successful CODIT is based on the exclusion of air, further water loss, and hopefully making exposed/damaged wood a less hospitable environment for pathogens, etc. That's not to say the process is always successful of course as we can site poor compartmentalizers, particularly aggressive and "successful" pathogens, and site conditions exasperating the processes.
 

Daniel

Well-Known Member

I heard a talk that Guy Meullier gave in 2004 at the TCI symposium in Pittsburgh... That was the only year that I presented also... Guy was talking about the way to prune after storm damage and basically said, you don't need a lateral of any kind to cut back to. You can look for a bump or a swelling and just cut back to that, knowing their are latent buds just waiting to sprout.... Much better for the tree than making a 10-16" cut back to the next stem....

That all made sense to me.. so I started thinking about Mrs Smith... she's the one that insists on removing a 15"+ tulip limb because its blocking light to her garden.. Now I explain to all the Mrs Smiths out there, the type of decay that will result from taking off that entire limb, and that we won't be able to tell how advanced it is so the tree will become an extreme danger etc... AND we can just cut it back to right "there", which may not be the most aesthetically pleasing, but its not like you're sitting on your front porch and looking at it all day, its back out of sight by the garden... I have never had anyone say no to that type of reasoning.. Instead they say, "Oh my... I wouldn't want to hurt the tree...."

SO we go and take about 30'+ off the end of this limb.... that was 2009... And I drive by on a regular basis, so I can examine the results visually from the ground.... The stub I left just sat there for 3 or more years, before it showed any sign that it was dead... I was hoping it would sprout but it didn't... It sat up there slowly rotting for the next 3 or 4 years.. The lateral that may have been a 2" limb on a 10"+ cut had taken off and was growing rapidly. The branch was getting plenty of sun and looked GREAT! I just was hoping to get a chance to remove the dead stub at some point BUT..

about 2 years ago, which is 6 or 7 years after the original reduction, she hired someone else to reduce the limb back to the next lateral, and the branch still looks good...

SO I was telling this story to another tree guy that was a big Shigo follower.... saying something like "obviously leaving the branch is better for the tree, than making an 16" wound 20' up on the main stem of a monster tulip tree"... And he responds, "maybe but you need science to prove it..... " He actually reminds me of some of the guys around here... Stuck on science... You don't need science to prove that.. Just a little common sense and enough experience to know what an 16" cut will look like on Tulip, some 9 years later....

So while it was nice to see that the tree responded as I expected.. I learned nothing from the experience. I KNEW what was going to happen and it did. What was really nice to see was that even though Mrs Smith got cheap and hired another tree service, she had learned the lesson and applied it for the next pruning. She had enough sense to see that what I was saying is obviously true... Funny isn't it.... she knows more about the benefits of reducing large limbs rather than removing , than a large percentage of American arborists, who are still stuck on the 1/3 rule. and a bunch of them would be proud of themselves for making a good 16" target cut.
 

Daniel

Well-Known Member
SO I picked up the mindset from Guy and that changed my paradigm. The ice storm of 2014 in eastern PA was a HUGE CONFIRMATION of the benefits of the practice, taking weight off the tips of laterals.. TREE after TREE that had been pruned that way, some which had been full of structural defects before pruning, came out of that storm with ZERO DAMAGE, or at worst insignificant damage. I had one client that manages a 30 unit condo call and tell me they didn't have one broken limb on the property. That was the worst ice storm anyone around her can remember. Trees were trashed, torn to bits.. hammered! SO I'd drive through neighborhoods seeing the front lawns full of downed limbs, a huge mess, and then get to my customers' houses and there'd be nothing there. Just happy trees sparkling in the sunshine... Monster white pines with a pile of brush that could be dragged by one man. Norway and Silver maples (very prone to storm damage) with all kinds of split limbs and decay before pruning, that I fully expected to be highly damaged by the ice, had zero damage.. It was totally cool....

Here's an unlisted video so please do not post the link elsewhere... This shows the type of damage from that ice storm. It's often the lowest limb on big mature hardwoods that needs the most taken off the tips. Reducing long horizontal limbs will also prevent summer limb drop very effectively...

 
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guymayor

Well-Known Member

SO I was telling this story to another tree guy that was a big Shigo follower.... saying something like "obviously leaving the branch is better for the tree, than making an 16" wound 20' up on the main stem of a monster tulip tree"... And he responds, "maybe but you need science to prove it..... " He actually reminds me of some of the guys around here... Stuck on science... You don't need science to prove that.. Just a little common sense and enough experience to know what an 16" cut will look like on Tulip, some 9 years later....
That's the crappy part--"Garden Professors" and their ilk claiming that they know what "the current science" like the 1/3 Rule is, even though there's NO research behind it. And then demand that we produce research to justify any variation from their dogma.

A crappier part is that people making standards and bmp's strenuously resist change, no matter how well supported, and embrace the old rules..

I just hope other tree guys will take the time to document their work. I took the bait and started a pruning project at Biomechanics Week site, and hope to get a few minutes at ISA in August to describe it. And I'll post here by April to invite folks to help out.

Anyway re dead wood...if there's a way to cycle it back to the rootzone somehow, that seems like the ideal solution.
 

Daniel

Well-Known Member
Now as far as deadwood goes, wicking moisture from the tree.... or whatever other type of harm the scientists want to study...
Here again common sense trumps science...
We have countless man hours of empirical observation of the effects of deadwood on the health of trees. Countless highly trained and experienced arborsits watching trees for decades... AND none of them are confident that deadwood hurts the tree in any significant way.
Or walk into the woods, plenty of monster tree with the first limb being 50-75'+ up... Where did all the lower limbs go... OMG they must have died and become deadwood... there was no on there to run up the tree and cut them off and the trees in good shape....

SO its OBVIOUS that deadwood doesn't significantly hurt the trees health... Boy that sure must rub the sales managers at Bartlett the wrong way... But don't worry... You don't need science to make a sale at twice the market price... Just fudge the truth a little bit..

Hey think about this.. If the tree scientist out there had any sense, they'd be looking for ways to prevent more invasive insects from getting off the boat, rather than wasting their time trying to save the fungi.. You don't need to do a cost benefit analysis of EAB or ALB, to know that we need to up our defenses. F the keep the Mexicans out Wall... You're going who the real bad aliens are when some bug gets over here and kills all the fruit or nut trees... There's a tree holocaust going on... we are watching it like its no big deal. We need to invest in prevention.. International treaties or whatever it takes..

Oh ya... back to subject... deadwood that's right..... God bless those deadwood scientists....
 
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JD3000

Most well-known member
Thats about my thoughts too. Plus we can consider that there are some "good guy" bugs and crud using the deadwood as a habitat that may be outcompeting many of the bad guys
 

Daniel

Well-Known Member
Guy,
I totally support whatever science you are working on regarding tree pruning. However April is not a good time for me to miss work and driving my bucket truck to Ohio is not going to happen anytime soon. The truck doesn't have a interstate DOT #...

Let's talk about it though.. I might be able to contribute in other ways.. Seems like we should be able to come up with a formula for sharing the research with interested arborists.. Just taking measurements on lateral limbs that are being reduced, recording the info on an app, and then if they are later taking the tree down or further reducing a limb, measure the decay that occurred from the cut... That would have logistical issues and is certainly not ideal science, but with a large enough sample size might yield valuable information...
 
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