Tree care to last generations |

Tree care to last generations

Sally J. Taylor
Nevada Appeal Community/Features Editor

Trees give shade, cool summer’s temperatures, clean the air, provide habitat for wildlife and pleasure for humans. A healthy tree will continue giving for several generations.

To help homeowners and professionals keep their stately charges healthy, the Carson City Shade Tree Council is sponsoring its 17th annual Fall Tree Care Seminar Tuesday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Workshops are open to community members, landscapers, homeowners, and aspiring arborists. Those working toward certification or maintaining certification as landscape professionals also can get credit for attending.

Speakers include Paul Grimyser, City of Las Vegas Planning and Development, who will speak on Urban Forest Management; John Christopherson, Nevada Division of Forestry on Tree Issues in Northern Nevada; and Pat Murphy, Nevada Fire Safe Council, who will speak on Post-Fire Rehabilitation.

Members of the council also will talk about the History of Carson City’s Trees 1858-2008, “Looking Back In Order To Go Forward.”

Tom Henderson, owner of Healthy Trees, Inc. of Carson City, will give a hands-on tree trimming demonstration at Mills Park. While most gardening activities have wound down for the winter, pruning can be done almost any time of year.

“Winter and late fall are good times,” he said. “The trees are dormant.”

Henderson encourages homeowners to start pruning trees when young to get them off to a good start.

“When a tree is large, there’s little you can do to change its structure,” Henderson said.

He suggests mature trees be pruned every three to five years. Younger trees that still are being shaped should be pruned on two-year cycles.

– Ridding a tree of weak limbs, as well as broken or dead limbs;

– Ridding a tree of co-dominant leaders (the main vertical growth). Eliminating competitors will strengthen the remainder.

– Eliminate crossing or rubbing branches;

– Giving a tree a uniform shape in keeping with the type of tree it is;

– A tree properly and regularly pruned tree will be less subject to storm damage;

– Not cutting to a side branch or bud, which leaves a stub;

– Leaving branches that are not strong enough to become a leader;

– Cutting at the wrong angle, which can make it more susceptible to disease;

– Cutting too close to the trunk or connecting branch. Cuts should be outside the branch collar, which is actually trunk tissue that forms a callous over the cut.

– Trying to prune into a shape not appropriate to the tree, including lopping off the top to control height, which promotes vertical sprouts.

“We see a lot of that (topping), unfortunately, done by so-called tree trimmers,” he said. “Anyone can call themselves a tree-trimmer.”

For the best results, Henderson recommends a certified arborist to prune and shape landscape trees.

Arborists must pass a rigorous exam and have three years experience in tree care, plus receive continuing education credits. They receive a certification number by the International Society of Arboriculture.

At the very least, when hiring someone to remove a large tree, be sure they’re insured.

“Removing large trees, it’s dangerous work.”

– Contact Features Editor Sally Taylor at or 881-1236.