Heavy pruning, Joe !!?

Joseph Zorzin redoak at forestmeister.com
Thu Jun 17 10:22:50 EST 1999


> Pruning to a 33% crown ratio seems severe, but then what do I know about
> eastern hardwoods. I know it's pretty minimal for Pacific slope conifers and
> would generally select AGAINST such a tree.
> Comments?

That's only a vague general rule. How much to prune depends on the shape of the
tree and high you can reach. But in a forest condition, a hardwood tree will be
just as healthy with only a 33% crown as 50%. The most critical thing is to get
that first log- to 17'. Beyond that you prune for aesthetics, if at all. Pruning
hardwoods in forests is seldom done here except in parks. After all, it's
expensive, and our society would rather invest millions supporting forestry
bureaucracies, rather than invest in high quality future timber. <G>

I seem to recall reading about a million year ago that retaining 40% of the
crown of softwoods is a good general rule. Such a tree wouldn't look good out in
your front year, but it will be healthy in a closed forest.

> -Arne
> Joseph Zorzin <redoak at forestmeister.com> wrote in message
> news:3766375A.43A7F5DD at forestmeister.com...
> >bradley wrote:
> (snip)
> >>  Also, what are your opinions on pruning
> >> lower branches of oaks say as you would a walnut stand?
> >
> >Yes, prune them. By all means. And as the trees grow, keep pruning them.
> You
> >can prune off live branches too up to 2/3 the height of the tree with no
> bad
> >effect. But especially prune the ones that will make the final "crop
> trees"-
> >perhaps 25' or so apart on average. For those, as they get taller,
> >eventually prune up the first full log- plus the stump height to about 17'.
> >Pruning the crop trees should be a good financial investment of your time
> >and cost. Pruning non "crop trees" will look nice, but may not be worth it
> >from a strict financial point of view.
> >(snip)

Joe Zorzin, Silviculturist

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