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Tree Structure

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How trees grow
Union strength
Branch orientation
Tree form

Trees with a dominant central leader are stronger than those with several leaders or several stems. The maple on the left has been structurally pruned twice to a central dominant leader; the tree on the right has been pruned to encourage upright growth on several leaders by removing only lateral branches.

Strong structure - dominant central leader Weaker structure - several upright leaders
One dominant central leader with smaller lateral branches makes this tree structurally strong. Several to many upright stems and brancehs makes this tree weaker than the one shown on the left.

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