Summer limb drop refers to the sudden dropping of a tree branch without any immediately clear reason. This limb drop usually occurs during summer. Tree lopping refers to the indiscriminate cutting of tree branches and leaves for different reasons, such as managing the height or width of a tree's structures. This article discusses how tree lopping may increase the likelihood that your trees will suffer from summer limb drop.
Increased Incidence of Infections
Tree lopping creates many wounds on the tree. Those wounds provide an entry point for microbes, such as bacteria, that spread tree infections. The infection can spread through the trunk to the remaining branches on the tree. Such an infection can consume the tree from within. Consequently, the affected branch may suddenly drop off the tree when other predisposing factors of summer limb drop exist, such as drought conditions that weaken tree structures.
Transpiration is the loss of water from a tree through the tiny holes in its leaves (stomata). Tree lopping reduces the number of leaves that can manufacture food for the tree. This loss forces the tree to go into survival mode by rapidly growing new branches and leaves. When that happens, the trunk and branches will absorb plenty of water from the ground in order to keep the numerous leaves moist despite losing plenty of water through transpiration. The added weight of the water being rapidly absorbed can strain tree branches to the extent that a branch may suddenly drop off the tree.
Heightened Impact of Drought
Tree lopping also affects the ability of the tree to withstand the effects of a prolonged drought. This is because the indiscriminate removal of the branches exposes the structures of the tree, such as the trunk, to the intense heat from the sun. Additionally, the few remaining branches and leaves may not be able to manufacture enough food to sustain the tree during this difficult time (drought). Consequently, the cells of the tree are likely to become weakened due to the inadequate supply of food. This weakened condition increases the likelihood of summer limb drop.
As you can see, tree lopping poses several risks to the wellbeing of trees and the safety of the people in the vicinity. It is therefore better for you to hire an arborist to ensure that all your trees are properly taken care of. This will reduce the chance that summer limb drop will occur on your trees.
If you live in an old house, you might find that some of the trees in your yard are as old, or older, than your house. Trees are a great link to the past of the house, but as they get older, like any living thing, they need a little more tender loving care! I help homeowners restore and maintain the trees at their house so that they look beautiful and healthy again. If you are the proud owner of an older tree and want to make sure it retains its natural glory, keep reading for my hints and tips.