Seasonal Treatment Recommendation: Limb Tip Reductions
Conor tipping back limbs on a heritage Elm in Port Angeles
Trees in the built environment grow and react to weather events differently than those that mature in natural conditions. Adjustments to open sites and built features often leave trees more vulnerable to the elements. Clients frequently ask us how they can reduce weather related hazards while maintaining the aesthetic beauty of their residential trees. Most specimen--large or small, deciduous or evergreen--can benefit from a limb tip reduction treatment. This type of treatment consists of mostly exterior pruning cuts that streamline the shape of the tree to shed snow and optimize it to bear the force of high winds. Not to be confused with wind-sailing--a scientifically invalid treatment in which many limbs are removed at random from the trunk of the tree--limb tip reductions result in healthy, structurally sound trees. Small pruning cuts heal much faster and are less succeptible to rot than large pruning cuts made next to the trunk.
Conor extending a pole-saw to reduce a limb tip
Trees that have been topped or otherwise mistreated can also benefit from limb tip reduction treatments. Restorative canopy work--most often requiring several years of pruning--can drastically improve the form of a damaged tree. In this application of the treatment strong branch connections are promoted. We manipulate the canopy primarily from the exterior, enhancing the tree's ability to deal with natural rigors. Careful pruning of the external canopy discourages unfavorable reactions to prior mistreatments and improves the appearance of the tree.
Sitkum Alum: Tad Smith
Tad cabling a Douglas-Fir with three large tops
As mentioned above Tad has helped define the work ethic and identity of Sitkum Tree Service. His background in education and forestry have shaped the way we communicate and problem solve in the field. Tad's impeccable attention to detail has helped us set a standard of quality assurance--a base from which we will continue to grow. Perhaps, since he will be returning to academics, we should call him arborist emeritus as we plan to call on him from time to time despite his move to Ellensburg. We're going to miss his even keeled demeanor and steadfast work ethic.
Tree Planting Tips
Tad and Conor planting a Japanese Maple near Sequim, WA
Though it may seem obvious, proper tree placement and planting are the first steps in responsible tree management. Far too often we receive calls to remove trees that were planted in the wrong place or under the wrong conditions. When planting a tree it is important to consider the species, site and management plan for the future. Trees can be pruned and environments adjusted to suit well-planned objectives but it is essential to outline those objectives before planting in order to avoid problems down the road. We have developed proven methods for tree planting, from small ornamentals to large installations. We offer tree planting consultion as well as site preparation and installation.
Featured Project: Owl Box Installation
Conor installing an owl box in a small Douglas-Fir
Earlier this month we installed our first owl box for a seasoned ornithologist on his twenty acre timber stand between Port Angeles and Sequim. Owl boxes provide nesting sites for species that nest in pre-existing cavities. Resembling large bird houses, they are typically lined with small twigs and conifer needles and function best in sparsely limbed trees. This particular box was designed to accommodate smaller owl species native to the area: Screech, Pygmy, and Saw Whet. Forested environments devoid of snags with significant cavities can benefit from artificial habitat enhancement. For those wishing to manipulate their trees to accommodate various wildlife species we offer a number of solutions including: habitat snags, stand diversification and artificial habitat installation to name a few. Trees and wildlife share a complex symbiotic relationship.