Major storms can inflict severe damage to tree canopy in a short period of time. But in every storm, some trees survive with minimal damage. With proper care, much of the worst damage to trees and property can be prevented.
Here are five suggestions for pruning and care:
· Encourage good branch angles. For most deciduous trees, narrow angles between two branches signal a point of future weakness. A good rule of thumb for many deciduous trees is to keep the angles at 10 o'clock or 2 o'clock.
· Encourage strong branch/trunk size relationship. Ideally, lateral branches should be no more than 1/2 to 1/4 the diameter of the trunk.
· Maintain a stable center of gravity. The center of gravity for a tree should be over the trunk. Remove branches on the leaning side and encourage branch growth on the opposite side.
· Remove temporary branches. This includes rubbing branches, suckers and watersprouts.
· Don't cut branches back to stubs. Long, natural limbs on a tree are strong and can withstand storm-like conditions. If a branch needs to be removed, cut it back to the main branch or to the tree's trunk.