Dead Wood

tom_otto

New Member
Guy,

The benefit of coarse woody debris (canopy deadwood, snags, downed logs) in forest ecosystem has been studied extensively (Franklin et al. 1987, Harmon et al. 1999, Hodge et al. 1998, Jabin et al. 2004, Fonte and Showalter 2002) and many others. In the urban forests, CWD is almost absent with the exception of canopy deadwood. So the downside to removing deadwood, is that the ecosystem needs it.

If your job is risk reduction (for people) large deadwood removal is a no-brainer. If your job is to care for the health of a tree without targets, and you recommend removing all the deadwood based on Shigo's observations, good for you.

Most trees you've pruned will most likely outlive you by double, so your 43 years of anecdotal observation only covers a small portion of any tree's life.

As far as this not being a worthy topic for research, why attend a Neville Fay presentation?
 

treesandsurf

Well-Known Member
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i made the points that removing deadwood permits the wound to seal

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How involved is wound sealing (callus formation) in resisting the spread of decay?

jp
 

Oxman

Member
Cedar Cadaver

Here's a Western Red Cedar cadaver that is enjoying a resurgence of life bolted to a highrise in downtown Portland, Oregon. It is dipped in plastic and pretty well embalmed in its new undead life. A video of this tree is cross [posted over at Buzz Busters Video at: Ox the Embalmer

Urban wildlife actually prefer trees with decay, so our attempts at sanitizing city trees are at cross purposes with sustainability.

Neville Fay comes to Tacoma next Tuesday. Be there, or be square!
 

Attachments

wulkowicz

New Member
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O and Chip do not worry; I have been chatting up wulkie for some time and it is always civil.

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Guy,

Is it as much being civil, or is it that we're just boring?


bob

[/ QUOTE ]True, we may bore each other more than we tick each other off, these days.

treeworks.co.uk

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That may be one of the un-arguable indicators of approaching deadwoodism.

Oh, the humanity.



Tubbs
 

guymayor

Well-Known Member
As I tried to establish with Neville (a brilliant arborist), environmental arboriculture, the fostering and preservation of deadwood for bugs and crud, does not belong in the human environment, where arborists are first assigned to optimize tree health, which means excluding bugs and crud.

Neville did not make the point that fungus helps preserve trees. Even if they coevolved, that does not mean tree health relies on decay. I can't wrap my mind around that one. And jp, closure prevents decay because it limits oxygen, among other reasons. That one is downright tautological.

Neville's workshop is important for many other reasons. You do not have to agree with the UK definition of a veteran tree--one that is managed for bugs and crud--to learn as I did from his solid grasp of tree risk issues and tree architecture, biology and morphology. Hearing his grasp of the potential and function of dormant buds was worth the cost of admission for me.
 
The building blocks for all of Life are based on decomposition.
It's the cyclic pattern of nature...constant re-creation.

Love this thread.

-Diane-
 

wulkowicz

New Member
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..... Neville did not make the point that fungus helps preserve trees. Even if they coevolved, that does not mean tree health relies on decay. I can't wrap my mind around that one. And jp, closure prevents decay because it limits oxygen, among other reasons. That one is downright tautological.

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<font color="red">tau·tol·o·gy -–noun, plural -gies.

1. needless repetition of an idea, esp. in words other than those of the immediate context, without imparting additional force or clearness, as in “widow woman.”

2. an instance of such repetition.

3. Logic.
a. a compound propositional form all of whose instances are true, as “A or not A.”
b. an instance of such a form, as “This candidate will win or will not win.” </font>

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I find it is often necessary to be tautological with the chronically illogical. I don't really enjoy repeating myself, but what else is one to do if someone else can't, or won't listen?

Life is we know it requires oxygen. There are some subtle exceptions, but for the most part, the life that surrounds us, and life as we participate in it, includes the continuous exchange of gases -- oxygen and carbon dioxide.

It would be a cool defensive technique, to have a process or consequence that denies oxygen to various living threats. A problem however would be how to discriminate between the parts inside you that you want to snuff and the parts inside that are necessary to stay alive.

Closure, as you suggest, might appear to seal off an area and deny oxygen, but the very makeup of that new covering is a repetition of the covering over the rest of the subject tree. These barriers include lenticels which are specific points of allowance for the exchange of gases. They are necessary so that local living cells can burn oxygen and discard carbon dioxide.



It's possible that there could be a kind of resignation to collateral damage and killing off fungi is more important than keeping local cells alive. More likely, that's a generalized and superficial assumption of what we think we see. The entire tree is preoccupied with the slow combustion process that its cells use for life, growth, and reproduction.

Photosynthesis is an anomaly used by trees, and a few hundred thousand other life forms, to create a local environment that allows them to stay alive. The cells that transmute air into the component oxygen, burn oxygen themselves and create carbon dioxide. The amount consumed by the tree is smaller than the total creation of oxygen, so global life is a beneficiary, but in truth, plankton produce more oxygen than trees, although we're not likely to find the bumpers sticker that say, "Save our plankton, forget the trees."



If we live our lives looking at a series of snapshots of biological processes, rather than understand that we're looking at a movie continuously running, sometimes faster than we can understand, and in the case of trees remarkably slower than we have the patience for.

It's difficult for any of us to maintain the continuity of explanation in forums where at any moment someone will be swinging in with a snarl or epiphany.

Stay loose. Mind wrapping won't work if we're too tight.



Bob Wolfowicz
 

guymayor

Well-Known Member
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Closure, as you suggest, might appear to seal off an area and deny oxygen, but the very makeup of that new covering is a repetition of the covering over the rest of the subject tree. These barriers include lenticels which are specific points of allowance for the exchange of gases. They are necessary so that local living cells can burn oxygen and discard carbon dioxide.

[/ QUOTE ]Bob, I think that woundwood that seals these areas has less lenticels opening than in normal bark, and more suberization, so that enough oxygen is denied so that decay is inhibited.

O and by "tautology" I just meant "A is A". I wasn't ridiculing the question.

"It's difficult for any of us to maintain the continuity of explanation in forums where at any moment someone will be swinging in with a snarl or epiphany."

O the snarls we can fend off, and as for epiphanies, they tend to elevate the discourse. I'm hoping for one all the time!
 

mdvaden

Well-Known Member
I've observed this since the late 1970s at my own parent's property before being in this biz. Later, country clubs, university campuses, and residences. The trend appears to favor deadwood removal.

In short, deadwood removal can have some noticeable benefits as opposed to leaving it.

1. Deadwood does cause shading. In some conifers like Douglas fir, when deadwood is removed, it allows more indirect light to reach interior foliage, reducing tissue death of interior needles and twigs. This can enable the retention of some lower limbs for a longer period of time, and for some homeowners, that is very desireable.

2. As long as a dead limb is attached, the tree's tissue cannot encapsulate the point of decaying attachement. But once a dead limb is removed, the tree almost immediately starts to encapsulate the spot with new and stronger tissue, which provides a stronger area on the trunk than waiting for a limb to fall off.

3. Removal of deadwood allows more light to reach understory plants, improving the overall habitat for other landscape plant material.

4. Deadwood interferes with visual inspection of a tree's interior, as well as access for pruning. So often, I find neglected problems in trees, where deadwood impeded a view of the problem.

5. Deadwood is an obstacle for wind to tug on. And also out here near Portland, especially the east side where the Columbia River Gorge dumps cold air into the rainy city, deadwood accumulates that much more freezing rain weight in the form of ice. So deadwood can increase breakage in our area.

I don't think deadwooding is always neccessary. But in-general, I find that it provides improvements for urban and landscape needs that are outstanding compared to ignoring deadwood.

Seems that deadwood removal would also be premium for top grade lumber production too. Even pre-deadwood removal.

Some things just seem to work better for our urban needs with man-made improvements. Consider an apple tree. If we let one grow unchecked, the fruit would be near unreachable, disease would increase, more yellow jackets would swarm fallen smashed fruit, etc.. Just one of many examples that man-made hort improvements fit our urban needs.
 

Jamin_Mayer

Well-Known Member
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My hunch is that as the wounds finish "healing" and closing up, the tree can now put its energy elsewhere rather than keep investing it on the already dead branch. If you leave the dead branch on, the tree has to try to compartmentalize the whole branch, rather that just cover over the cut.


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My thought too. I sometimes get to a customer's home and they haven't had their trees ever trimmed. For example, an Ash tree with 25 years of dead wood is a lot of dead wood! That is hundreds of cuts to just get the dead wood out.

Now compare the health of the tree to a same Ash which may have been cleaned every 2-3 years. Which will be thriving?
 

wulkowicz

New Member
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I've observed this since the late 1970s at my own parent's property before being in this biz. Later, country clubs, university campuses, and residences. The trend appears to favor deadwood removal.

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Deadwood comes down eventually, with us or without us. I'd prefer not to be hit in the head with a dead limb, then again, in sudden limb drop. we have the risk of being hit in the head with a live limb. If I survive either encounter, I'm not sure what difference it would have made about the vital signs of my attacking limb.

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In short, deadwood removal can have some noticeable benefits as opposed to leaving it.

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I agree, but the original question was still about finding any proofs that the deadwooding had a biological benefit for the tree.

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1. Deadwood does cause shading. In some conifers like Douglas fir, when deadwood is removed, it allows more indirect light to reach interior foliage, reducing tissue death of interior needles and twigs. This can enable the retention of some lower limbs for a longer period of time, and for some homeowners, that is very desireable.

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Again, there are different benefits for different reasons and however deadwood comes down, by time or by us, it can allow for more light beneath the dead limb. In the deciduous trees, the shading was from leaves can be considerably more dense than from just the limb and once dead, those leaves do not return. In context, many conifers live with significant self-shading anyway.

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2. As long as a dead limb is attached, the tree's tissue cannot encapsulate the point of decaying attachment. But once a dead limb is removed, the tree almost immediately starts to encapsulate the spot with new and stronger tissue, which provides a stronger area on the trunk than waiting for a limb to fall off.

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I very much disagree. The expansion of the branch bark collar at the location of the dead limb is singularly the result of the flow of trunk vessels around the intersection of the dead limb. With both cylinders alive, each contributed to the interweave at the junction. The flow of vessels of the parent cylinder around the dead cylinder is not triggered by the removal of interfering deadwood, it occurs as the remaining part of an ordinary process of vessel placement in the continuity of vessels running from above to the areas below.

At some future time, that location is overreached by the expanding girth of the trunk or the parent cylinder, and issues of strength have no particular significance.

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3. Removal of deadwood allows more light to reach understory plants, improving the overall habitat for other landscape plant material.

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We need to be careful in assuming that we know better about the understory needs in general circumstances. In what we would call forests, trees create their own habitats ranging from poisoning the soils against interlopers, to the undisturbed decomposition of forest products that go back many years.

In any case, available light with a group of trees is often vigorously exploited from nearby trees and after a short time, and once successful, new leaves and needles become the new shade.

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4. Deadwood interferes with visual inspection of a tree's interior, as well as access for pruning. So often, I find neglected problems in trees, where deadwood impeded a view of the problem.

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We are again talking here about maintained areas, and yes I guess that there might be some interference for inspections by the positioning of some deadwood. Again, we are still looking for biological benefits from deadwooding.

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5. Deadwood is an obstacle for wind to tug on. And also out here near Portland, especially the east side where the Columbia River Gorge dumps cold air into the rainy city, deadwood accumulates that much more freezing rain weight in the form of ice. So deadwood can increase breakage in our area.

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I also think that deadwood is more vulnerable to wind in part because it lacks the flexibility of a living limb, but ice takes down what it can, liveing or dead, and that has been going on ever since we had trees and ice.

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I don't think deadwooding is always neccessary. But in-general, I find that it provides improvements for urban and landscape needs that are outstanding compared to ignoring deadwood.

Seems that deadwood removal would also be premium for top grade lumber production too. Even pre-deadwood removal.

Some things just seem to work better for our urban needs with man-made improvements. Consider an apple tree. If we let one grow unchecked, the fruit would be near unreachable, disease would increase, more yellow jackets would swarm fallen smashed fruit, etc.. Just one of many examples that man-made hort improvements fit our urban needs.

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I agree that in urban settings there are side benefits to deadwood removal. I don't disagree with man-made improvements and expansions of the value and care, but I don't find any persuasive quality to your observations about the biological benefits like accelerated encapsulation, or as others have said the removal of fungal food.

I have apple trees in Nova Scotia that are untouched, unpruned, and undeadooded. I don't place the expectations on them as fruit producers or want them to be convenient for me. They grow; I watch; they move on, and I wander away. Seems perfectly fine for all of us.

I guess I prefer is to keep things in the proper boxes. Urban settings have different expectations and explanations. The biology of trees spans whatever context of placement and purpose we might assign to trees.

We wouldn't have this conversation if we didn't have chain saws and we didn't provide the product of wood on the ground, living or dead.



Bob Wulkowicz
 

wulkowicz

New Member
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My hunch is that as the wounds finish "healing" and closing up, the tree can now put its energy elsewhere rather than keep investing it on the already dead branch. If you leave the dead branch on, the tree has to try to compartmentalize the whole branch, rather that just cover over the cut.


[/ QUOTE ]

My thought too. I sometimes get to a customer's home and they haven't had their trees ever trimmed. For example, an Ash tree with 25 years of dead wood is a lot of dead wood! That is hundreds of cuts to just get the dead wood out.

Now compare the health of the tree to a same Ash which may have been cleaned every 2-3 years. Which will be thriving?

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Let me give you an odd answer, as is perhaps my contrarian nature.

If you are cleaning deadwood out of a tree every 2-3 years, it is an indicator of poor health for that tree in order to have that much die back in a short period of time. A thriving tree ought to have everything alive.

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I also believe so that a tree makes no energy investment in a dead limb. Besides the fact that it can't, why should it?

Over 200 million years of evolution, trees anticipate the decomposition of dead parts and isolates them through CODIT while waiting for rot and natural forces to send the limb to the ground.

The elsewhere that a tree ultimately invests its energy is really and only to the roots. Each part of the perimeter of the tree, the gossamer engine, benefits from the flow of carbohydrates from above. There is some lateral distribution of carbohydrates "energy" that proves useful in girdling and other mishaps, but for the most part "energy flow" is downward from the leaves, sustaining the gossamer engine and its vessels on the way, and ending up in the roots.

I have read some studies that said there was no sugar relocation upwards in the xylem which is the most expected way to send things above. I've also read the studies that said the xylem water did contain sugars. I'm not offended or disabled by contradictions, I suspect I'll just have to wait for more clarity.


Sugars are soluble and can wander providing local nourishment, but the bulk of sugar production travels downward with storage as local and root starch.

Pretending that I know what I'm talking about, compartmentalization of the dead branch along its length is a remainder part of a process primarily designed to protect the tree at a once living junction. The isolation of that junction from pathogens in the composers moving inward is the same barrier to the parent cylinder providing any kind of energy supply outward.

Proportional to its age, the interior of any woody cylinder is already dead; the bigger the branch is, the more of it is dead. The energy investments are just beneath the bark where the cambium has to be very much alive. The dedicated offspring of the cambium, xylem an phloem, will be staying alive for the length of time determined by the species.

Once established, that very narrow band stays the same for the life of the tree. It is the zone of highest caloric activity.

When a new branch grows past twice the diameter of that zone, that center will be dead and will continue to expand as dead while the branch continues to grow.

I'll try to talk about this more and provide some drawings, but I can't do it right now.

I look forward to your comments.



Bob Wulkowicz
 

cory

Well-Known Member
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If you are cleaning deadwood out of a tree every 2-3 years, it is an indicator of poor health for that tree in order to have that much die back in a short period of time. A thriving tree ought to have everything alive.


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Large healthy honey locusts can be deadwooded every year or so as they are basically deadwood factories despite being healthy and growing strongly.
 

Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
I heard someone say,

"Green ash make deadwood for a living."

Meaning that they shed branches at a surprising rate. The top branches seem to grow so vigorously that they quickly shade out the interior branches which die yearly, at least that's what it seems like. The ash all seem to be great shape...is that a contradiction in terms? :)
 

mdvaden

Well-Known Member
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I agree, but the original question was still about finding any proofs that the deadwooding had a biological benefit for the tree.



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I scrolled back to the original question to review it again, which reads...

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"Does removing dead wood from the canopy actually produce some net benefit for the tree? Does anyone out there actually know of any research that suggests trees respond positively when dead wood is removed?"

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And I think that most of my previous reply responded to that question and "some net benefit for the tree".

For some reason, I tend to find biological benefits with our trees by deadwooding, even if it merely stops ice destruction and continues the life of the tree. Or say the interior foliage lasting longer due to more indirect light. It is research, and it's biological, involving the tree, light, cells, etc..

But I think I understand the line of thought you were referring to.

Masterblaster had a fun reply earlier about what trees would have done without us - something similar.

In short, they live, die, decay and regenerate without us. Maybe a tree's longest historical friend has been decay / fungi.

Bob W...

As far as the encapsulating with tissue, I recall some grand firs where the lower dead limbs were 4" to 5" in diameter and still "clinging on". Like 20 years worth of clinging on dead. The tree's branch collar areas had been growing new tissue around these big dead limbs for maybe two decades. Had I had my way, I'd have preferred to cut the deadwood off 20 or 30 years ago, instead of having these 14" long "tissue-tits" with 4" wide nipple-like protrusions of deadwood. There is almost no better way to describe it.

It's like what I've seen holly do when it's old, except that holly can do it with live limbs due to occassional branch collars way out there - maybe 6" to 8" out. Oh those odd little hollies

My guess is that many tree workers who have been in west Oregon or Washington have seen what I'm referring to if they've been at this trade for a long time.

Either way, the trees will live for centuries. But for "urban" man's needs, I still see deadwood removal as the optimum solution.

Bob W...

Even if encapsulation after immediate deadwood removal is a minor benefit compared to leaving the dead decaying deadwood, it's still a benefit. And I see no structural superiority to leaving deadwood remnants. And in Oregon near the Pacific ocean, our urban trees can use every benefit possible, even if just minor. Lately, we had a serious wind storm. In the early 60s, the Columbus Day storm blasted Portland with recorded 116 mph winds, and our coast got hammered with estimated gusts of near 176 mph.

If we can manipulate our tree to be but 2% or 5% stronger, that may just be the small edge some of our trees need to survive the hurricane force winds that blow through here tugging on the massive giants we grow. Height magnifies leverage. And height and leverage is something we wrestle with here.

Tornadoes are not a main concern here, although we do get a few tornadoes. Ice and snow are another major challenge.
 

guymayor

Well-Known Member
#1
Again, there are different benefits for different reasons and however deadwood comes down, by time or by us, it can allow for more light beneath the dead limb...

gm--yes

#2 The flow of vessels of the parent cylinder around the dead cylinder is not triggered by the removal of interfering deadwood, it occurs as the remaining part of an ordinary process of vessel placement in the continuity of vessels running from above to the areas below."

gm--and if the deadwood is out of the way, the parent tissue closes the hole much quicker.

#3 I guess that there might be some interference for inspections by the positioning of some deadwood. Again, we are still looking for biological benefits from deadwooding.

gm--this is strictly speaking biological, because humans are trying to care for the trees, but we can skip this one.

#4 deadwood accumulates that much more freezing rain weight in the form of ice. So deadwood can increase breakage in our area.

Bingo! Good job by Mario. Can anyone refute this one, for any tree in any place?

bw-- I don't find any persuasive quality to your observations about the biological benefits like accelerated encapsulation, or as others have said the removal of fungal food.

gm--bob, I find a lot in there. despite your just-fine apple tree, for many trees closure can make or break the acceleration of trunk rot and the ability to stand.

and i agree-deadwood is not always a sign of bad health--lower branches shedding is not "dieback"; look it up.
 

wulkowicz

New Member
Tom Otto contributed six posts to this thread. I had the impression in the consideration of all of them that he was looking for studies and references that supported the generalization of deadwooding benefiting a tree. It also seem to me that he was looking for biological improvements as compared to the peripheral benefits like access to light.

My personal perspective is triggered by the similarity to political talking points where issues and alleged facts are repeated often enough to encourage the parrot in us to chatter them as if they were true. Again, when I started in this business, I was appalled by the unsupported pronouncements and explanations for things like pruning that seemed circular and "tautological".

All I wanted then were the explanations, consistent and logical, with references to available material that helped me to better understand trees and their growth. I said in previous posts that I was really irritated about being lied to, how ever well-intentioned and innocent, but nevertheless being fed some line of just apparently plausible justification for activities of arborists.

I got labeled as a tree hugger and the doofus who doesn't want us to prune, which is not at all the case. I simply wanted some clarity and some internal comfort about the things that I would say and practice. That didn't seem so very demanding or unorthodox, or heretical. If you're going to teach me, we each have a job to do; give me good information and I'll try my best to understand.

I will absolutely admit to my writings being shaped by the initial resistance to my questions, which included the audacity to have them. And as I began to understand things from a different perspective in looking for answers on my own, I was surprised by the anger and punishment for someone who tried to think outside the box. This is not my whining about past years, it is the authentic puzzlement by the general resistance to change about most everything.

Tom asked a proper question. And we wandered into an expectable debate on semantics and anecdotal observations, and yes, the talking points repeated with vigor and insistence that did not contain Tom's requested validations when examined closely.

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1. Stretching it to the absurd to make the point, removing the deadwood from surrounding trees brings the benefit of new available light to a subject tree that doesn't get touched. Expanding that benefit could include removing both dead and live limbs from nearby trees, and I then put a checkmark in the box of benefits tor a specific untouched tree.

I guess I am now saying that the newly available light benefit seems rather thin as the supportive explanation for deadwooding. I'd also feel hard-pressed to qualify or quantify any results of pruning for light.


2. The expansion of a collar around a dead or dying limb is the simple continuation of the vessel placement by the cambium of the trunk of the tree that continues to have nourishment from above and no longer participates in any shared vessel interface with the once living limb.

It is serendipitous that this process also allows a closure over a cut or decayed woody cylinder, but the action was not designed to do that. Closure as we think of it, quick or not, exists here as the now one half-sided continuation of the vessel placement in surrounding living junctions.

Is speedy closure the only benefit for a tree? Maybe not. Perhaps there are many subtle circumstances and conditions that affect pathogen invasions. It was suggested that closure denied oxygen to invaders, and that might very well be true. I accept it as a consideration, but I can't give oxygen denial to someone else as a reason.


3. I agree about skipping the third point because that is truly reaching to say that some examination of a tree by us with the best of intentions should be considered a benefit, a biological benefit, to a tree.


4. As I've watched, ice is a cruel consequence for deadwood and living wood. There is a probability that deadwood broken by ice would take down lower limbs that might not ordinarily succumb to the same ice accumulations. If I use that explanation for customer, he gets to ask, "what ice storms?" This is a statistical examination; what are the odds, what are the costs?


5. My apple trees are metaphorical images for who I am and what I think I do. I watch, I observe, and I try to let things teach me. That may seem simple-minded and naive, but I've gotten very comfortable accepting my ignorance of the complicated and subtle weavings of nature.

It goes back to my first meeting with Alex Shigo where he was asked the question by an arborist and Shigo's answer was, "I don't know". I had never before heard anyone touted as an expert or giving a lecture, say "I don't know." They generally pulled out some vaguely peripheral explanation or a string of words designed to fill dead air.

Here was a man who said "I don't know" and stopped there because there was no explanation necessary beyond admitting his ignorance about the question. I was stunned; first by his courage, and then by the truth of his answer. It's okay to be ignorant, and it is a task to correct that.

It's okay to be ignorant and admit it in front of an audience unless the audience is looking primarily for talking points. That is not any personal criticism. We have been trained to accept rote and dogma by our schools and colleges. They lecture, and we scribble down our best guesses of what questions will be on the tests and determine our grade point averages.

As I said before, talking points are not the basis of stewardship or of appropriate tree care. Knowledge evolves, and talking points stay the same.

I thought that Tom asked, give me something behind the talking points. Maybe it was my mistake. Then again...



Bob Wulkowicz



PS: I did start to take a look at lower branch shedding as you suggested. It deserves its own thread and some hot commentary. Thanks for the invitation.
 

guymayor

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
Tom Otto ...was looking for studies and references that supported the generalization of deadwooding benefiting a tree. ...we wandered into an expectable debate on semantics and anecdotal observations, and yes, the talking points repeated with vigor and insistence that did not contain Tom's requested validations when examined closely.

[/ QUOTE ]Bob I do not think anyone is going to walk into the old trap of "there is no formal research supporting this practice, ergo it is not valid." There are other forms of science that validate actions. Trees are so hard and expensive and slow to research, we must avail ourselves of other scientific validation, yes including anecdote.[ QUOTE ]


Is speedy closure the only benefit for a tree? Maybe not. Perhaps there are many subtle circumstances and conditions that affect pathogen invasions. It was suggested that closure denied oxygen to invaders, and that might very well be true. I accept it as a consideration, but I can't give oxygen denial to someone else as a reason.

[/ QUOTE ]ok then it is a strong consideration.[ QUOTE ]
ice is a cruel consequence for deadwood and living wood. There is a probability that deadwood broken by ice would take down lower limbs that might not ordinarily succumb to the same ice accumulations. If I use that explanation for customer, he gets to ask, "what ice storms?" This is a statistical examination; what are the odds, what are the costs?

[/ QUOTE ]Bob, you just strayed from admitting a benefit to imposing a cost/benefit analysis to deadwooding. You also ignore the fact that ice on dead branches can break the live branches that this deadwood is attached to. Having observed closely ice damage from NC to OH to MI to MO etc., and seen many trees totaled instead of restored (expensive), I've concluded that deadwooding for structural stability is enough of a biological justification. The obvious benefit of speedier closure also stands on its own as biological justification. So this horse is officially beat to death, imo.
[ QUOTE ]
I did start to take a look at lower branch shedding as you suggested. It deserves its own thread and some hot commentary. Thanks for the invitation.

[/ QUOTE ]O boy, now another poor nag will get whipped. What is controversial about lower branches getting shaded out? sTAY TUNED...
 

mdvaden

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]


Let me give you an odd answer, as is perhaps my contrarian nature.

If you are cleaning deadwood out of a tree every 2-3 years, it is an indicator of poor health for that tree in order to have that much die back in a short period of time. A thriving tree ought to have everything alive.



[/ QUOTE ]

Not neccesarily - not here in Oregon regarding a lot of our conifers.

Just depends on the tree and it's size.

But vigorous evergreens here can easily grow enough new foliage in a few years to shade lower limbs or interior branches.

Also, if a limb was not removed this year because it was still "hanging-on", the same limb could easily become deadwood in a couple of years.

So once again, there are at least two options to consider for that kind of evaluation.

I just finished pruning some upright Japanese maples in Lake Oswego, Oregon, that once again this year, needed small deadwood removed. They grow so vigorously that they shade their interiors yearly. If not every year, then bi-yearly, they need some deadwood removal. And they can't be thinned any more, otherwise the foliage reduction would be too excessive for a single pruning session.

The Pacific NW is one of the front lines for the battle to control foliage and growth.
 
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