Pruning with the Pros - Removing a Wayward Branch (in English)

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What is going on with this wonky branch on this Capitol Pear? Well, as you probably know, trees come in all shapes and sizes, and some trees grow to be very open, and some grow to be more upright or conical shaped. Today, what we have is a Capitol Pear over my shoulder here that is an upright grower to a point. At some point in this tree's life, because of its genetic makeup, it tends to grow up very nicely, but then it sprawls open. And when you see branches like the one off to my right shoulder here, that wood is going outward enough to where there's enough gravity pulling on that. And being a very weak wooded species or very open grain species, it has a tendency to break off. So in this case, we have a need of reducing the end weight on that branch. And it may not be that perfect cut back to a third the size of the one that it's attached to, but this is really just remedial work in order to save that tree so that branch doesn't break off and then peel down and land on something, of course, you know, on your property.

Okay, so I'm going to cut this branch up here as John just described. We're basically just doing weight reduction to prevent it from failing due to wind or storm snow loads, that kind of thing. I'm going to do the same thing as I have before. I'm going to make an initial cut to take weight off, and then I'm going to make two cuts to get back to my final desired cut, which is actually right there.

So, what's the safe way to address that? As mentioned before, you know, these long stems coming off of this conical shaped tree that eventually splay outwards, you can see the way that this branch is bouncing because of that weak wood. If it were an oak tree, that branch would be solid and much easier to cut. Since it is a Capitol Pear, now we're working with something that has a lot of resilience and spring to it, but it's very difficult to cut without some help from the ground.

Okay, so you're going to want to stand a little farther back. Yeah, I know where to swing down. What a difference that made, huh?

Okay, there we go. Great, much safer to be preventative for the tree than for that to break off without that treatment.

Yes, exactly. This is one of those cases where we do want to reduce the length of branches in order to help the tree survive intact. Great, thank you so much.

How to remove a wayward branch that doesn't contribute to the structure and aesthetic of a tree. With Oregon State University Extension’s Nicole Sanchez and certified arborists John Bellon and Tom Ford.

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