Hazard pruning followup

Back in March of last year I wrote about the need for restraint when pruning mature trees. Hazard pruning is one instance where pruning a mature tree may be acceptable. Reasons for pruning might include: 

- pruning for road clearance 
- pruning away from roof shingles
- pruning away from chimneys

I was taking Christmas lights out of an enormous Rose of Sharon shrub last week when I snapped this picture of a maple tree that had been pruned for chimney clearance.

All three pruning cuts had been performed correctly and were almost entirely healed over. Looking closely though, you can see that in two out of the three branch removals, the tree has responded by sending out several epicormic shoots near each cut. Epicormic shoots lie dormant and are hormonally kept in check until damage or removal of a branch or leader occurs.

 Here's a closer look:

The first pruning cut healed over without any development of epicormic sprouting. The other two cuts have several new shoots apiece, growing right back towards the chimney, quadrupling the previous hazard.

So what's the take away? Don't forget to occasionally look up to see how the tree is reacting to pruning. Correctly pruning a tree is often not a one time event, but may need to be done over the course of several years. 

No shade tree? Blame not the sun, but yourself 
Chinese proverb)