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How to grow a tree taller
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Mueller Community

Posts: 470
Joined on May 26th, 2009
How to grow a tree taller
by misselaine on April 29th, 2013

I just had a lovely walk around Mueller and with all those leaves now on our trees, I noticed how many low branches are still on many (most) peoples trees. I wanted to stress the importance of cutting these branches because the tree is putting its energy into growing those boughs thick and strong when they will eventually have to be cut anyways because people need to be able to walk under them without playing the limbo game (might I add that people on the far right or left side of the walk should not have to duck. I like to walk with my husband, side by side without either of us getting decapitated). If these branches are removed, then the tree can put its energy into growing taller and creating a nice canopy! There are great examples on Tom Miller on the park side of the street or a short part of the wedge on the east side of Antone that have correctly trimmed branches. We future shade lovers thank you in advance!
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Mueller Community

Posts: 1149
Joined on August 18th, 2007
How to grow a tree taller
by langhugh on April 29th, 2013

Elaine is on the right track, and I just wanted to add few caveats. Trimming up a tree a growing tree is best done gradually and during the proper season.

We should definitely be considerate of branches that in the walking/parking areas around the tree, yet we should be careful not to do more harm than good.

1. Consider limiting your cuts of the branches from the trunk to 2 or 3 per year. This should raise the canopy about a foot each year, and limit the total canopy removal to under 25%. There is another helpful adage that a tree's height should be about 1/3rd trunk and 2/3rds leafy growth. There have been plenty of cases of over-pruning (reversing the ratio) at Mueller.

2. Avoid cutting any Oaks between March and June. Oak wilt is real and the longer we can keep it out of the neighborhood the better. Best to prune here is between December 15th and February 15th (Tree Dormancy). Second best time might be between July 15th and September 15th (Hotter than Heck). This applies to Oaks certainly and to other tree species more generally.

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