OUCH! Does it look like it hurts? I bet it does. If you read one of our many blogs you will understand how much damage has been done here.
Often I go to estimates and have to battle the misinformation that has planted by another "reputable" Tree Service. The truth is that on the job training is not enough to qualify one's self as an Arborist.
Education is a must, and that combined with on the job experience is often a good combination. With that said, education can hurt ones ability to make sound decisions. A few months ago I worked for some people who have taken and are still taking courses at the U of A and consider themselves very educated in the field of Horticulture. It was very upsetting to me after having trimmed their tree to be attacked for having cut the removed branches (3 cut method) outside of the branch collar. Usually with bark growth 2 years or older there needs to by 1-2 inches left outside the branch collar. The reason is tree's compartmentalize when damaged by fracture or cutting or exposure for whatever reason to the cambium layer. This basically means that a tree kills that section off with vertical and lateral walls turning the exposed are over to decay. Tree's do not generate new tissue from dead like we can, once in decay the area is swarmed by micro organisms never to be a useful part of the tree again. So when cutting developed branches of one can seriously damage a tree by cutting it flush to the parent branch or trunk... back to the above. The people mentioned had been taught by a U of A Horticulturist that cutting it flush was the right method. This teacher has more book smarts than me but obviously thats where it ends. If ones education is not in line with the ANSI Pruning standards then the information can be use less. So what happens to a flush cut branch? The tree reacts compartmentalizing the area and in the process kills of a section of the cambium layer in the parent branch or trunk, often the area looks like an eye over time and if done in the way that water can collect it may bleed microorganisms further and cause much greater damage. The above peoples argument was that unless you cut the branch flush it will grow shoots back. And this statement alone explains it all. Cutting it flush damages the tree to the point that it compartmentalizes the cambium layer and does damage to the feed path not only to the cut branch but also to the above fed areas on that path.
The truth is removal of a branch outside of the branch collar is the correct way. If that is a half inch from the trunk or 2 inches from the trunk is up to discretion, but cutting flush is not up for debate. With that said we do cut non barky shoots flush to the parent branch as shoots have yet to develop a branch collar worth noticing.
So the picture above was sent to me by and HOA Leader that we have a relationship with. The damaged tree is from a former tree cutter they had used. It is obvious the damage done s compromising the health and overall function of the tree.
Is your Tree Service hurting your Tree's? That is a good question, no one is perfect but it is important for you to educate yourself so that you know right from wrong. Our blogs are very detailed and there is many of them to read. It is a great place for you to start to begin understanding the basics. My hope is that over time Tucson becomes a better town when it comes to the Tree Service Category. Even some of our educated tree cutters are wrong just like the U of A teacher. But I must say that the work above in the picture was done by someone with no education in Tree Service or Tree Trimming. No one is perfect and we all make mistakes, no one is above scratching a branch but the above work is outright butchering of tree's by a amateur Arborist.
Make sure you check the Education of a Tree Service Company, Reference Letters and experience of your Arborist. Also make sure the one you are talking to is the one doing the work. We train all of our employee's by the ANSI Tree Trimming and Tree Pruning standards and watch them closely for adherence. Often the person you talk to or gives you an estimate is not the one doing the work, if this is the case then expect a lesser standard of educated tree cutting when the crew comes without the Arborist you spoke to. Even worse is the band of guys who go around and do Tree Removal. Anyone can do Tree Removal but can someone do it one million times without an accident?
I hope all this is helpful and as always we are here to help.