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Did I let local tree trimmer hurt my trees?

Don Macc

Don Macc

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Called local tree service to remove dead ash tree. While here he said my two pin oak trees needed what he called a clean out to prevent storm damage. Trees are probably 60-80 ft. Had his climber work from bottom to top removing some of the shorter length branches that were about 1-2" in diameter. Some of the branch stubs are 2-3 " away from trunk. The tree looks less full but the shape of the tree is the same before trimming. Did this do harm to the trees. Thanks
 

ATH

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If they left 2-3" branch stubs on purpose, probably an indicator that they don't know how to prune.

Perhaps they didn't take too much off based on what you are describing??? If it is just the stubs, those will be easy for a competent arborist to clean up.

"crown cleaning" usually refers to removing dead branches and mal-formed branches. Pin oak do tend to have very little spacing between branches and it is beneficial to prune some branches to improve that. One might refer to this as "cleaning". "Thinning" used to be a term in the old pruning standards, but was removed from the more recently published standards because it is very nebulous, and simply thinning for the sake of thinning has no benefit (and causes some harm) for the tree. Thinning to prevent storm damage is not effective...and again, may cause more storm damage.

Can you post some pictures?
 
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VirginiaIron

VirginiaIron

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"If they left 2-3" branch stubs on purpose, probably an indicator that they don't know how to prune...."
Yeah, there is a natural ring of bark where the branch/limb meets at the trunk that is the closest limit in a prune. It looks like the start of a turtles neck where it would shrink in, called a branch collar. Depending on the diameter of the limb, 2-3" might be right. It is when the limb is cut far from the branch collar is when this will cause those stubs to die and damage the tree.

https://todayshomeowner.com/how-to-trim-large-tree-branches/
 

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Don Macc

Don Macc

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Thanks for all the responses. They did use gaffs to climb. I have attached the best photo I can and I know where the cuts were made but they are not real clear in the picture. My observations are some branch cuts were near the branch collar, some were cut almost flush with tree and others were well in front of branch collar leaving stubs of varying lengths.
Given these observations, is it worth getting a qualified arborist to trim the long stubs? Obviously the collar and short cuts can't be fixed.
Whether the answer is yes or no, what is the prognosis for the trees?
 

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ATH

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Thanks for all the responses. They did use gaffs to climb. I have attached the best photo I can and I know where the cuts were made but they are not real clear in the picture. My observations are some branch cuts were near the branch collar, some were cut almost flush with tree and others were well in front of branch collar leaving stubs of varying lengths.
Given these observations, is it worth getting a qualified arborist to trim the long stubs? Obviously the collar and short cuts can't be fixed.
Whether the answer is yes or no, what is the prognosis for the trees?
Gaffs for pruning: confirmation they don't know what they are doing.

That is the worse (not repairable) damage than the bad pruning. Might be difficult to find a competent arborist for something that small...would almost have to be "sorry somebody else messed this up, we'll do what we can to fix it in hopes that you will call us next time" kind of decision for them to take a job that small...though if you could get somebody that will just buzz on over on their way home, it is probably less than an hour?
 
Don Macc

Don Macc

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So what is the worst case scenario for life of trees, will live with a shorter life or worse?
Thanks for your time and advice.
 

ATH

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The good thing is this late in the year there is less chance for disease transmittal into the tree.

The gaff wounds will take longer to seal over than a good pruning cut. In the mean time, they are entry points for decay and insects into the tree.

The flush cuts will take a long time to seal over (we call it compartmentalization). The long stubs will most likely die and old on for many years (especially on pin oak). The longer before the tree is completely sealed off, the more wood decay fungi that are introduced into the tree.

So, this will not likely kill the tree outright, but rather reduce long term health and structure.
 
Don Macc

Don Macc

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Thanks again for your advice and time. I never knew how much there is to know about proper tree care. Thankfully there are skilled professional such as you to help us dumb homeowners.:clap:
 
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ATH

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..... I never knew how much there is to know about proper tree care. ....
Unfortunately, neither does the guy to was in your tree. Sorry that happened...but at least it wasn't topped!!!

We see this way too often - our industry has not doe a goo job communicating to consumers the importance of hiring knowledge and professionalism.

treesaregood.org is a good place to read more before making future tree care decisions. (or always ask here!)
 
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