How not to mangle a tree

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Proper pruning of large branches uses the “three-point cut” method. Here’s the last cut.

Free Urban Forestry workshop to teach proper pruning techniques

 COVINGTON, Ky. - A bad haircut grows out. A bad prune job? That can kill the tree, or scar it so bad it never recovers.

To help residents learn the proper way to shape a tree, the City of Covington’s “urban forester” - aka municipal specialist Cassandra Homan from the Public Works Department’s Urban Forestry Division - will hold a free two-hour pruning workshop on Saturday, March 14. 

Pruning isn’t only about improving the aesthetics, or “look” of a tree, Homan said. It’s also about safety, as in making the tree less likely to drop branches or split trunks, and preserving its long-term health.
 
“Tree pruning is an often-overlooked opportunity to improve the tree canopy,” she said. “A tree in the woods usually grows straight up because of competition from other trees. But in the city, a tree off by itself can grow all sorts of odd ways if left unattended.”
 
The workshop will be held from 10 a.m. to noon in the downstairs conference room of the Kenton County Public Library at 502 Scott Blvd.
 
It will feature discussion of tree biology and the “why” and “how” of pruning, as well as follow-up care. Then, participants will walk a couple of blocks to a street where Homan will demonstrate proper techniques on streetscape trees.
 
There is no need to register, but Homan said she hoped for a big crowd.
 
“Pruning is important, but if not done right, it can really damage a tree, even beyond the aesthetics,” she said. “I’ve seen a lot of mangled trees.”
 
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