Oak Pruning and a magical ladder

ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5March 27, 2012

got me a hate on for this thing.. so it was time to take it to town ...

couple views.. before the surgery ... nice little ladder there.. eh???

have taken off a few lower ones

i make two cuts.. 2 to 3 feet out from the trunk.. so this does NOT happen at the trunk .. its a function of what i can hold with my left hand.. while cutting with the right .. i did this on purpose.. to show you the bark peeling.. and make you understand.. that aint no good on the trunk ..

and BTW... while i was up there.. i start by snipping out all the little 3 to 8 inch nubs.. along all branches that stay ...

here is how the refuse is moved to the burn pile

OMG... the ladder is growing .. and more is gone

oh carp.. the ladder grew again .. lol ... and more comes off

and the ladder grew again ... its magical ...

whats this all about? i dont recall what i did with it ... hmmmm

and here is the end result... did i get carried away.. too much??.. thoughts and comments from pros ... ken

i think that bit long cut on this pic.. is the one above.. that i forgot about ...

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wisconsitom

A bit much Ken, but providing you've put the ladder away, it should be okay! I'm just getting over reading your cringe-inducing account of how you performed the work though. One-handing a saw.....while on a ladder......let's just say that there's two really wrong things with that!

But I didn't notice any more typos than usual in your post-indicative of one arm being in a sling....or gone. Nor did you seem to have the mental confusion I would associate with recovering from a concussion!

+oM

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 5:33PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i dint youse no stinkin power tools ...

it wuz a han saw

is there a problem with using a han saw with one hand??? care to elucidate how i would use one with two hands??? [oops]

do u kneed a pic of the han saw????

lol

ken

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 6:24PM
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krnuttle

The only problem that I could see with your trim job, is that with the top pushed so far up the tree, the trunk and the root system did not have a chance to adjust to the extra wind load to provide the leverage need to keep the tree upright.

If you do not get any Significant wind the tree should be OK.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 6:56PM
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smivies

"The only problem that I could see with your trim job, is that with the top pushed so far up the tree, the trunk and the root system did not have a chance to adjust to the extra wind load to provide the leverage need to keep the tree upright."

?????
I think you need to re-think that one. The overall wind load on the tree has decreased. The top half remains the same and the bottom half is now much reduced.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 7:12PM
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hortster(6a, southcentral KS)

ken...a great ladder...you used it too much...

I know you are a "do it by feel guy"...but I am a believer in sticking to the general principles...no more than 30% of the crown...and wait for several years after...

That one crotch looks suspicious...third picture from the bottom...but glad you didn't cut it off...would have been almost 50%...or more...

The hortster appreciates your humorous additions to the forum...your pauses between thoughts...glad you are here...glad you have lots of trees to chop...and opinions...but feel for your oak...!

hortster

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 8:11PM
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hortster(6a, southcentral KS)

ken.. a great ladder ... you used it too much..

i know you are a do it by feel guy.. but i am a believer in sticking to the general principles ... no more than 30% of the crown.. and wait for several years after ...

that one crotch looks suspicious.. third picture from the bottom ... but glad you didn't cut it off.. would have been almost 50% ... or more..

the hortster appreciates your humorous additions to the forum.. your pauses between thoughts ... glad you are here.. glad you have lots of trees to chop ... and opinions.. but feel for your oak ... !

hortster

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 8:24PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Perhaps an illusion but last pic, bottom left cut looks a bit flush.

Personally I don't like the overall shape now and would have stopped at pic #3. BUT if you are trying to open up the canopy to maximize sun exposure for new sun loving plants I can understand the pruning. Waiting just makes it worse as you'll just have larger wounds.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 8:39PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

The wind load on the top could be problematic.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 9:54PM
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j0nd03

I agree with whaas. Pic #3 would be a tree tag picture when leafed out! But that is not what you were going for so oh well.

Nice pruning series for the noobs like myself for many reasons

John

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 10:09PM
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wisconsitom

Feel better knowing it was a han saw Ken. Now about that ladder pruning........;^)

Much as I really do think you took a little too much, I predict no calamity. I've seen right around 56,284 trees pruned a little too much. It's not right, but in time, you really can't tell. Most of the time!

+oM

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 10:23PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Ken,
Looks like you missed a few limbs there near the top. LOL

Smivies,
I think you need to re-think that one. The overall wind load on the tree will increase as the top grows to compensate for the significant loss of foliage towards the bottom of the tree. Ken now has something closer to one of those lollipop trees...and a fancy ladder.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 10:32PM
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jqpublic(7b/8a Wake County NC)

So what was the purpose of this prune session?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 10:36PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

finally .. someone likes my ladder .. think of what i could have done ... if i unfolded it in half.. and leaned its 15 feet against the tree... lol .. i could have made an 19 foot whip .. rotf ...

ken

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 10:39PM
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wisconsitom

Oh I like your ladder Ken. I just dislike seeing any ladder used in treecare. There's a reason things like ropes and saddles were invented.

Oh well, doctors need work too!

+oM

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 11:00PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Oh you need a chainsaw on a pole and a roof to climb up to mount your ladder on top of!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 2:22AM
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Cher(6 SW OH)

Personally I like it. It will fill in the top part soon and look fine. Hope you're going to do the other one to match.
Cher

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 5:25AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

ok.. stream of consciousness replies.. lol ...

tom .. i am of the mind.. that i want both feet on the ground when operating a chain saw ... i mean really ... i know pros do it.. but that is why they are pros ... and have tiny chain saws and large arms to handle them ... i dont .. lol

the basis of this pruning.. very frankly ... is i did all of what SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE.. the prior what.. 4 years ... i would prefer to take smaller branches.. but life tend to get in the way ... and priorities arise ... so yeah.. i took more than i should.. be be honest .... it isnt going to matter ...

i would bet my shiny penny that i will get 3 to 5 feet of growth this summer.. if ma nature cooperates... and by that i mean drought and hail ...

i did consider the wind issue ... but that is always an issue ...

i was surprised how many ice damaged limbs.. from the ice storm a few years back ... i thought i took a pic.. but apparently they snapped back into position after the ice melted .. and as they extend ... the break starts separating ... as the fulcrum extends .. darn gravity and all ...

the root of my post.. is more for newbies ... who have all this FEAR ... of cutting on their baby ... [i am thinking of ILOVEMYTREES] ...

prune.. perhaps more timely .. and dont look back.. the tree will encapsulate.. or heal itself .. with a proper cut ... and though we all have concerns ... you gotta do.. what you gotta do .... WHEN YOU FIND THE TIME TO DO IT ...

do NOT let your fears and concerns .. actually stop you from doing it ...

ken

ps: oh.. and whaas ... what other forum do i hang in .. and you tell me.. why i raised this oak so far ...

pps: and tom .. i am not strapping my butt into a harness.. and swinging from my trees .. lol

ppps: and yes.. the one behind is on the schedule to do the same.. sometime in the next few years.. lol .. hopefully this year ...

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 9:26AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Lol, yep I figured as much. Sun lovers here they come!

The oak will play nice with the others and the red fall color will light up the blues you plant in that area.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 9:41AM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

Ken,
Perfect START if it were Eastern Red Cedar-Juniperus virginiana, though still incomplete, as there are still parts projecting above the ground. But I would suppose that you would consider me bias since I despise Eastern Red Cedar as more than you do Maples. Fence posts and mulch are their best assets. ;-)

With that said, I do have a concern that has not been mentioned. with the warm weather you have been having, I'm sure the sap will be flowing and the insect vectors will be flying. So I would be concerned about Sudden Oak Wilt risks by pruning at this time.

Beyond that, I agree with your intent, though my own approach is a branch or two per year mostly during the shortest days of winter when I'm dying to get out and do something outside. But that is just me, and I don't have nearly the cold and snow you do for the most part.

Keep us posted on how they grow.

Arktrees

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 11:28AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

oh.. this was done 3/11 .. before the heat wave.. and what should have been at least 4 weeks prior to a real spring in MI ...

ken

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 11:56AM
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wisconsitom

Ark made an excellent point-oak wilt transmission, like everything else in nature, will be early this year. If perchance you ever drink beer, you know the bugger.......er.......the picnic bug........the beetle most responsible for transmitting the oak wilt fungus from infected tree to freshly-pruned, not-yet-infected one. This is the one and only case I'm aware of where the use of the asphaltic pruning paints may be justified. It keeps all this from happening.

But here, which is very similar to there, I've not seen that particular insect yet.

+oM

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 5:55PM
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hortster(6a, southcentral KS)

wisconsitom, I know you will get tired of hearing this, but does it have to be asphaltic? Ugh. Has research been done on prevention by plain old linseed oil? Is there something about a petroleum sealer that is superior?
Although SOD isn't a problem here yet (Texas and moving?) I paranoically do my red oak pruning in fall.
hortster

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 9:56PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

I wouldn't expect linseed oil to be of any use in that application.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 10:31PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

if i were a newbie.. you guys would be scaring the bee-gee-bees out of me.. crippling any action in regard to actually doing anything with my trees ...

i am putting my success rate at 99% .. and you guys in the nattering nabob 1% ...

yes .... they are all very important considerations.. but i would suggest that most peeps not get all wrapped up in the 1% ... and worry themselves ...

ken

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 9:02AM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

IMHO, you would need a physical barrier to the insects to be effective in preventing the transmission of Oak Wilt. Therefore in my opinion, asphaltic (or similar) would be required in this case, as linseed oil would not harden to provide a physically barrier.

Arktrees

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 9:14AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

here are the tools..

i love the folding saw.. because it folds [it does close all the way] and fits nicely in the blue jeans pocket.. without scarring my behind ... and that is very important .. lol

any ideas how to get rid of the pine scum ...

ken

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 4:22PM
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wisconsitom

Believe it or not Ken, a soak in plain water will rid the blade of resin. Sounds wrong I know, but it works. They sure do make nice pruning saws these days-I mean even for home owners!

Horst, I'm not bothered at all by your comments, but I think, as others have already pointed out, that a physical barrier is needed. Maybe linseed would work though. I can't claim to have tried it out, nor read any studies one way or t'other.

+oM

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 6:36PM
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poaky1

If that is a pin oak, as it looks like to me, those branches will need limbed up anyway if you are to walk underneath, the smaller the wounds the better IMO. I've been doing mine a little every year though so my ferns and shade perennials don't become crispy critters though.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 10:14PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

sold as Q coccinea

6 to 8 foot bare root in 2000 -- i didnt understand that.. until i took the 8 foot tree in my hand.. and stuck the roots in the ground.. and all of a sudden it was.. 6 foot.. lol ...

darn things grow like the weeds they are in mineral sand ... in MI ....

ken

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 9:45AM
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