Structural pruning and root remediation: tools for building sustainable urban tree canopy

Michael S. Orfanedes, C. Way Hoyt, Edward F. Gilman


Co-dominant stems with bark inclusions are conditions that commonly develop in the urban tree canopy and can result in reduced wind tolerance and branch failure. Structural pruning, a procedure that shortens and, in some cases, eliminates co-dominant stems, can be used to improve the structural integrity of trees. Circling and stem girdling roots are another common defect that is increasingly being viewed as contributing to early decline of trees. This condition may be related to the quality of the root system at installation, planting technique, and long-term maintenance practices. In many situations, removing circling and stem girdling roots can improve tree health and longevity. Communities interested in building sustainable urban tree canopy may benefit from investing in such remedial tree care practices.


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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283