Type your question here!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Shoestring Acacia Height Can Be Lowered

Large shoestring Acacia. Some are more upright than others while others are more rounded. This is because of how they were propagated, grown and location.
Q. I have a tall (40-50ft) shoestring Acacia tree that is too close to the house. The leaves accumulate on my flat roof and clog the scuppers. This has caused interior flooding on occasion as the water overwhelms the vents and skylights. My question is, can this tree be topped or does it need to be removed.

A. Yes, you can reduce the height of this tree. There is a pruning technique to lower its height called “drop-crotching” which is very different from topping. Topping is extremely damaging to trees while “drop-crotching” lowers the height of a tree while maintaining the tree’s form as much as possible.
This shoestring Acacia was topped. This is NOT how we want to lower the heights of trees. The method we are looking for is called drop crotching. Most likely the reason it had to be lowered is because the signage was blocked. This was the fault of the designer or landscape architect. Topping was the fault of the tree butchers.
            Very large trees cannot be reduced in size to very small trees. There is a limit how much a tree can be reduced in size by drop-crotching. When lowering the size of very large trees dramatically, reduce their size over a period of several years rather than doing it in one season.
This is not the same tree but it was done by the same pruning crewon a tree close by.. These cuts were made in the wrong locations on the tree with absolutely horrendous care.
When drop-crotching a tree you need to find very specific spots to cut where the form of the tree is not totally destroyed.
You would first identify the vertical branches providing the most height. Trace these vertical branches to lower side branches. Remove the vertical branches just above the juncture with the side branches.
You would repeat this at all of the locations that contribute to its unwanted height. By pruning in this fashion, you will retain as much of the trees natural form as possible.
A guide to drop-crotching can be found http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/430/430-458/430-458.html

If drop-crotching is not acceptable then removal is the only other option.

1 comment:

  1. If you enjoy the tree or it casts shade for your windows so that having it taken out would be a real loss, you can get special grates to go over your gutters that will stop the leaves from dropping into the gutters. Check out Home Depot or Lowe's and/or check out your yellow pages for gutter systems.