Reducing a grand old Hawthorn

Discussion in 'Commercial Tree Care and Climbing' started by GardenEarth, Feb 2, 2020.

  1. GardenEarth

    GardenEarth New Member

    Feb 2, 2020
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    Western Washington
    I'm being asked to remove at least 30% of a beautiful huge old Hawthorn. I talked them out of it last year and just removed the odd long ones, low limbs obstructing passage and others encroaching on buildings and neighboring trees. I want to somehow see what their goals are besides making it cute and young looking when its actually a very healthy 100+ yr old elder. Any ideas or advice anyone?
  2. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

    Nov 18, 2006
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    Try ti figure out what they have in mind and why that is what they are picturing. For example, someone will point to a neighbor's tree that has been maintained like a lollipop. I'll explain to them 2 things about that:
    1) They've been doing that since it was is near impossible to expect an old tree to stay healthy if you cut it back that far and it will never be as full.
    2) That is a very high maintenance practice. It is a good money maker for me, but I don't think it makes sense to do something that we know takes that much extra maintenance, is bad for the tree and looks terrible if you skip any of the maintenance.

    Can I just help keep it away from walkways and buildings while maintaining the overall health of the tree? What would you think if we reduced all of the "outlier" branches and restored some of the trees's natural shape and symmetry?

    And I always point out that with mature tree pruning "less is more". Every leaf is a food factory. An old tree is not as capable of rebounding from a very stressful loss - just like other organisms, including humans.
    njd333 and uniballer like this.

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