How Over Trimming Your Trees Can Cause Sunscald
What happens when you lie in the sun without anything to protect you from the powerful UV (ultraviolet radiation) light of a hot summer's day? Sunburn — of course.
But did you know that, like humans, trees and plants can also suffer from sunburn? However, in trees and plants, this phenomenon is called sunscald, and it can be very damaging to a tree. Since last summer in Australia was the hottest on record and next summer is likely to be hot too, you should take care not to over-prune your trees. To do so could leave your tree's branches and trunk at the mercy of the hot Australian sun.
A Tree's Canopy is Like an Umbrella
On hot summer days, people protect themselves from powerful UV rays by relaxing in the shade of a nearby tree or umbrella. Trees have the ability to do this too, only they have an in-built umbrella — their leafy canopy. This canopy protects their trunk and lower branches from UV radiation
If you over-prune your tree or trim away too many branches, you could inadvertently expose a portion of its trunk to the sun. While your tree's bark will protect it for a while, perhaps even for a few months or even years, in time, the cells in the exposed area will begin to break down.
Subsequently, visible damage, such as bark discolouration, cracks and bark loss will appear. If this damage is left untreated, the inner layers of the tree will also suffer and begin to affect your tree's ability to transport food. Moreover, this damage will create a doorway for pests and diseases to infiltrate your tree.
Hire an Arborist or Tree Specialist to Trim Your Tree
As you can see, trimming a tree without the necessary experience is a risky endeavour that could result in the death of your tree. A much wiser and safer option is to hire an expert, someone with years of experience and knowledge — in other words, a tree trimming professional, such as an arborist.
Only an arborist, or at least a tree specialist from a trusted tree service, can correctly assess just how much of a tree's canopy to remove. So, if your tree's canopy is getting a little too untidy or too large for its space, for instance, look to the experts rather than attempt the task yourself.
Unlike people, trees can't simply slap on some sun cream on especially sunny days! And, if your tree has suffered from sunscald, an arborist can help you to assess and treat the damage before it causes the death of your tree.