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Structural pruning sweetgum (Liquidambar)

Why prune | Tree structure | Pruning cuts | Prune at planting | Structural pruning | Sub-standard pruning | Is pruning needed
Raising the crown | Thinning the crown | Reducing the crown | Pruning home page

Before pruning After pruning
There are several, long, upright stems growing into the top of this tall tree. The tree has two, 10-feet long, closed trunk cracks 40 feet from the ground as a result of receiving a lightning strike ten years ago. Most of the largest branches originate near this point of the trunk. The tree has a dead patch from the lightning strike 12 inches wide beginning at the ground extending 20 feet up the trunk. Objective is to reduce likelihood of breakage while allowing the tree to continue to recover from the lightning strike. Five or six reduction cuts 2 to 5 inches in diameter were used to shorten only upright and long branches in the top half of the crown. Pruned branches are less likely to break because of their reduced sail area, and they will transfer less stress into the trunk. As a result, the trunk is less likely to fail.
  Close-up of removed branches
  A close-up of branches removed from the top of the crown

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