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Autumn Tree Care Tips

Fall is here! With the new season comes new tasks for Basin Family Tree Care. Read on for our autumn tree care tips. We will also review common trees in the Klamath Falls area, with a focus on particular maintenance needs our local trees require.

Caring For Your Yard this Fall:

As fall arrives, we all think about raking leaves and cleaning out garden beds. But there are also important tree jobs to be done. Fall is a great time to start pruning your trees to prepare them for the winter snow load and strong winter winds. This is a great time for structural pruning and weight reduction to promote strong and healthy branches. Last thing you need this winter is a nasty breakout! Fall is also a great time to gather those fallen leaves and use them to mulch your garden. Piling leave litter around the base of your tree is a great way to mulch your tree. The leaves will start to compost and the nutrients in the leaves will benefit the underlying soil. The mulch will also provide a blanket of protective warmth over the winter.

Listed below are some common pruning techniques we use when pruning trees and what they are useful for.

Weight Reduction: This pruning technique involves the gentle reduction of lateral branches on the tree to reduce the weight on major structural limbs. This technique is useful for reducing the risk of breakouts.

Crown thinning: Crown thinning involves the selective removal of inner branches evenly throughout a tree's crown, this will allow better air flow through the canopy of the tree. Better air flow means that your tree canopy wont act like a wind sail getting caught in the wind, this technique can also reduce breakouts.

Crown Reduction: A method of pruning used to reduce the height of the tree by cutting branches back to laterals to reduce the height by 30%. This technique is useful for overgrown trees that have not been pruned in a long time. This is also useful for trees that are getting too big for their location, such as trees near a structure or house.

Crown Raise: A method of pruning to provide clearance for pedestrians, vehicles, buildings, lines of sight, and vistas by removing lower branches. This technique is also useful for pruning conifer trees.

Dead wood removal: a method of pruning that removes all dead, dying, damaged or diseased branches. Removing these branches can reduce the risk of breakouts and prevent the spread of diseases.

Common Trees Found in Klamath Falls and Recommended Fall pruning treatment:

American Elm: American elm is a large tree widely known for its vase-like shape and rounded, multi-branched crown atop a thick, powerful trunk. It usually grows from 60 to 80 feet tall but can grow as tall as 110 feet and has a large canopy. American elm trees are very fast growing trees and require regular tree pruning to keep their branches strong and prevent breakouts. American elm trees make great shade trees if you are willing to put in the work and keep them well maintained. American Elm trees can quickly become your worst nightmare if not properly maintained. These fast growing trees are known for nasty breakouts when they become overgrown with heavy limbs. Recommended maintenance for fall pruning is weight reduction, dead removal and crown thinning. These recommended pruning techniques will help reduce breakouts during high wind and heavy snow.

Silver Leaf Maple: The silver maple got its name because its leaves are green on top and silvery-white on their undersides. Silver Leaf maple trees are another large and fast growing shade tree. Silver leaf maple trees can grow 3-7 feet per year and reach a height of 50-80ft with a large canopy spreading as much as 50ft when fully grown. Just like the elm tree, because they are a fast growing tree they require regular pruning to keep their branches healthy and strong enough to support its weight. Recommended fall pruning for the silver leaf maple includes weight reduction, crown thinning and dead removal.

Cottonwood/popular: The cottonwood tree is one of the most common trees found in North America and is the fastest growing native tree to North America. The cottonwood tree can grow as much as 6ft per year and reaches a mature height of 70-100ft tall. Cottonwood trees also make great shade trees and are commonly planted on farms to act as wind breaks. Because these are fast growing trees they require regular pruning to prevent breakouts. Recommended fall pruning is weight reduction, crown thinning and dead removal.

Black Locust: The black locust tree is another fast growing tree that can grow to a height of 75ft. This tree is a part of the legume family and produce white flowers in the spring. This tree is know for is thorny branches and produces hard, durable and rot-resistant wood. Black locust is one of the strongest timbers grown in North America and is commonly harvested for fence posts. Recommended pruning is crown thinning and dead removal.

Conifers. Oregon’s conifers dominate the landscape in the winter months. They don’t drop leaves but rather branches and needles. Generally conifers do not need a lot of pruning besides some occasional dead removal and crown raising. Large conifers such as Douglas firs and ponderosa pines need to be trimmed on a regular basis to prevent large branches from falling on your property.

Fall is a great time to prepare your yard and your trees for winter. If you would like a free assessment then call Basin Family Tree Care at (541) 851-9080. We will stop by and give you some recommendations and a free estimate!


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