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Branches break

treeThis tree will be easier to restore than many trees because it began with a good structure. The small diameter branches on trees with a dominant leader structure broke a good way out from the trunk. This kept the trunk and the branch unions intact. The restoration process seeks to encourage good structure mostly by guiding growth toward the center of the tree.

Treatment: Since the leader is intact, this will be relatively simple. First the canopy was cleaned by removing dead branches and reducing broken branches back to lateral branches were possible. Some heading cuts may be required on this tree. This is appropriate 1) when the only option is to remove a long branch back to the trunk, 2) when removing the branch back to the trunk would result in an unbalance canopy, and 3) when the branch is relatively small in diameter. Sprouts can be managed beginning in a year or two to encourage good structure. This process will require several prunings over a period of five years or more. (See: Details of managing sprouts).

broken tree branch
Closeup of photo above

broken tree branch
Even closer look at the top of the canopy. Clean reduction cuts can be made back to live lateral branches. It is best to perform this now before sprouts emerge. Once sprouts emerge, it is more difficult to make good pruning cuts.