Pruning - Raising Canopy Questions
Apologies in advance for posting several related posts at once - but it is the only way I know how to do this and provide multiple photos that pertain to my questions.
Okay so here we go. I am growing from seed/acorn several different oaks and I have planted several other trees in and around my yard. They are all very young now, but the ultimate goal is to have a yard that has tall trees with long trunks and a high canopy of shade. Yes, I know this will take many, many years, but that is the goal. I've done a lot of reading on pruning (including Ed Gilman's great book), and I've yet to truly understand how to properly prune lower branches off so as to foster and promote that kind of long smooth trunk up to 20-30 feet before you start to see branching and leafing - and no to very few stubs/wound wood/prune cuts present.
I grew up in a yard like that - Red Oaks, Water Oaks, Willow Oaks, Tulip Poplars, Sweetgums all 50-90 feet high with long smooth trunks and high arching branches the supply just the perfect shade from above - cathedral-like.
So in all of my reading, I hear about "temporary branches". But how do you know what a temporary branch is and how long is temporary? I've heard that you don't always want to just prune immediately at the collar at the trunk, but may be you want to prune a branch back to a bud closer to the trunk at first, and then eventually take that branch off at the trunk. Gilman suggests (but is not super clear) that the limb will actually stop growing in girth implying (again not super clear) that allows the trunk to get thicker while the branch stays the same and then you can take it off without as much impact. Is this true? I'm just unclear on what to do and how to do it and when to do it.
The first example I want to provide is a water oak that I grew from acorn and planted 2 summers ago. It is growing great, but I know I need to "limb it up" but I'm afraid that some of the pruning will leave wounds that yes may heal when pruned properly but will still leave blemishes that will always be there.
NOTE: there will be several follow-up responses to this post with other questions... I would certainly appreciate your looking at all of them before replying. I appreciate and respect the feedback of everyone on this forum - you all have been so helpful over the years. THANK YOU