Eradicative Pruning Basics


Eradicative pruning is a special pruning method specifically aimed at removing diseased wood and preventing the spread of the disease. If you have landscape trees that are battling a disease, eradicative pruning may be the solution you are looking for. Timing, method, and sanitation are the most important aspects of eradicative pruning.

When to Prune

Generally, the best time to prune out diseased wood would be as soon as it noticed. Of course, for some diseases, you may not even notice the disease symptoms on the tree until the leaves begin to drop in fall. Some diseases may also spread quicker than others, which would lead to the need for more prompt pruning.

The best practice is to verify the disease affecting the tree and then look up the best practices for managing it. If this isn't possible, then trim back visible disease as soon as you notice it, then plan for a more involved winter pruning after the leaves drop and the tree enters dormancy. Often, late winter is the best time for dormant season eradicative pruning. This is because the trees are still dormant, but they will soon wake up and put on a flush of new growth that will allow them to quickly heal the pruning wounds.

Where to Prune

General pruning wisdom typically specifies trimming branch branches to the nearest bud, leaf, or side branch. With eradicative pruning, deeper cuts are necessary to ensure that all of the diseased wood is removed. If you can tell where the dead wood lies, perhaps by finding a living bud, that is a good place to begin the pruning.

Most diseases will leave a stain on the wood, either on its surface or inside the wood beneath the bark. When making cuts, if you find disease-stained wood, cut back at least 3 to 6 inches from where the stain starts. In the case of diseased twigs, it's usually better to remove the entire twig instead of trying to save small nubs.

How to Prune

Your tools and techniques also matter, otherwise, you may simply spread the disease. Always use sharp tools — use pruners for narrow branches and twigs, and a pruning saw for thicker branches. Carry a bucket of diluted bleach water with you and rinse the tools in it after every cut so that any disease pathogens clinging to them are killed. Afterward, dispose of all the pruned material.

When pruning a branch back to its base, avoid cutting into the branch collar. This is the raised hump of wood where the branch joins the trunk or a larger branch. Further, never leave a stubby tip sticking out, as this heals slowly and attracts disease. Cuts should be clean and smooth so that the tree can heal them quickly.

Contact a tree trimming service for more assistance with tree pruning for disease management.


12 November 2020

A Tree For Every Yard

Elm, ash, walnut, maple, apple — these are all gorgeous trees, but they all have their own preferences in terms of care. Maple trees, for example, need to be pruned later in the season once their sap has begun flowing. Elm trees should be pruned in winter when insects aren't around in order to protect them from the emerald ash borer. A good tree care company will treat each of your trees as individuals, customizing care to their own specific needs. Still, it's important that you, as the tree owner, understand those needs, too. Read the articles on your website, and you'll soon have a pretty good grasps on the basics of tree care.