The yin and the yang of winter: Here in the Carolinas, we savor those rare snow storms that turn our landscape a glistening white, if only for a day or two. But then we find ourselves trudging outside to tackle the task of picking up all those limbs large and small that fell with the snow. Even worse is having to pull out the ladder to remove the ones that land on our roof. This is why late autumn and early winter is the ideal time to reduce your tree canopy.
One dimension to canopy thinning is known as the sail effect. When heavy winds blow through the landscape, large trees tend to catch the wind and act as a sail. This can be damaging to trees in the form of broken limbs and uprooting. To reduce this effect, proper thinning techniques can be used to let the wind pass through the canopy.
Cambistat Plant Growth Regulator is an effective product to (as the name indicates) regulate tree growth. It is typically used near the end of the pruning process. This liquid is not a do-it-yourself product. Arborscapes personnel will pour it on the base of the tree to slow canopy growth and reduce the length of limbs and foliage by two-thirds. It does not stop the tree from growing, but focuses the growth energy elsewhere from the canopy. Which is why canopy reduction will also help your roots ward off the dangers of drought. In addition, it is especially important when trees are stressed due to construction and heavy machinery in your yard.
Taking care of all living things in your yard is not not much different than anything else in life. Plan ahead. Keep an eye on potential issues (in this case, with your trees and foliage). Consult an expert to guide you. Don’t tarry. Do the work now, before Spring arrives with its promise of growth.
A self-proclaimed tree hugger and preservationist, John has more than 20 years of experience in arboriculture. He earned an Associate Degree in Horticulture Technology from Central Piedmont Community College and became a Board-Certified Master Arborist in 2012.