ArboristSite.com Sponsors
 
 


Pruning ponderosa pine for health

Discussion in 'Homeowner Helper Forum' started by swisspete, Feb 1, 2019.

  1. swisspete

    swisspete New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2019
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    I just bought a mountain home and have lots of pine trees, that have been uncared for a long time. Based on my reading, what I should look for to help the tree grow and stay strong is :

    - Ensure there is one clear leader at the top ;
    - Prune dead and diseased branches ;
    - If some shoots come out of the trunk, cut them.

    Now my question, is that some of these trees overlap each other, or within a tree, several branches overlap and intertwine some. Is it a good idea to prune some of these branches, and allow the tree to focus its vitality in the branches that have more potential for growth ?

    Also, if smaller shoots come out of large branches closer to the trunk, should I prune these as well ?

    And if some needle bundle look weak and not too healthy, should I cut these too ?

    Thanks !
     
  2. old CB

    old CB ArboristSite Operative

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2011
    Messages:
    375
    Likes Received:
    460
    Location:
    front range rockies, Colorado
    Swisspete,

    I'm your neighbor, living 6 miles uphill from Boulder. I can advise you on this. Check your messages. I'm sending you a personal message.

    CB
     
  3. The Singing Arborist

    The Singing Arborist ArboristSite Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2017
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    Utah
    Not sure what kind of fungal diseases you guys have there in Boulder, but a little thinning of the branches could help with airflow through the canopies, reducing windloads and fungal activity.

    Other that the things you mentioned of keeping a strong central lead and deadwooding, there really isn't much need to trim them, especially if they are in a heavily wooded setting. The only pines I trim here in Utah are to clean up the dead branches, and trim them away from homes.
     
  4. old CB

    old CB ArboristSite Operative

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2011
    Messages:
    375
    Likes Received:
    460
    Location:
    front range rockies, Colorado
    Disease is not an issue here. There was much concern over bark beetles a few years back, but that's more a western slope thing. We're on the "front range" of the rockies, and working full-time commercially I rarely see beetle-kill.

    The main issues here amount to just thinning for general forest health, and thinning to specs for fire mitigation around structure, which includes limbing up to eliminate "ladder fuels."

    Around my house I remove dead limbs, which does nothing much for tree health, but makes for less dry & ready fuel in the event of fire, and makes for a cleaner appearance.

    Swisspete, I recommend you contact Wildfire Partners (wildfirepartners.org), which is an excellent program run by Boulder County to help mountain dwellers prepare their sites for wildfire, which is always a concern. The goals of fire mitigation--making fuel sparse around your home--closely mirror the goals of forest health, which is reducing some of the overgrown condition to promote the health of the remaining trees.
     

Share This Page