As we explore the world of trees and their stewardship, various terms are used that are sometimes foreign to the general public with regards to pruning. The following terms will enhance your overall knowledge and plant lingo.
Broad-leaved evergreen – an evergreen plant with broad leaves that are not needle-shaped like magnolia, carrotwood, citrus and others.
Caliper – refers to the diameter of a trees trunk and branch size.
Cambium – the tissue growing just underneath the bark that aids in healing cuts.
Candle – the early spring growth of pine shoots before needle expansion.
Central leader – the main stem of the tree from which other branches develop.
Crotch – the angle developed between two connecting branches creating a V shape.
Deciduous – the plants that normally have leaves only during the growing season and lose their leaves during the dormant season like maple, liquidambar or ash.
Dieback – the dying back of stems due to adverse weather conditions, insects, diseases or other pathological causes.
Dormant – the period of the year when a plant is not actively growing.
Espalier – to train a plant on a wire or trellis system against a wall, fence, trellis or arbor.
Lateral – a branch originating from the main trunk, usually growing horizontally.
Multiple stemmed plants – plants with more than one trunk from the base compared to plants with only a central leader.
Permanent branch – a branch that is part of the major architectural growth habit of the tree, usually originating from the main-trunk.
Shearing – cutting back plants with hedge shears resulting in a very formal growth habit (Limit shearing to hedges, topiary or a formal garden.).
Sucker – a vigorous shoot originating from root or stem tissue below ground level.
Terminal – the tip ends of branches or the tip of the central leader.
Thinning – the removal of connecting branches to point of origin or shortening the length of a branch by cutting to a lateral.
Training – to dictate the development and growth of a plant by physical means, such as pruning, crown reduction, thinning or selective branch removal.
Water sprout – the vigorous succulent shoots sprouting from the trunk or older branches.
Wound – an area where the bark of a plant is cut or damaged (Don’t use tree sealers on the wounds, as this oil product inhibits healing through the cambium tissue.).
Roger Boddaert is a certified arborist by the International Society of Arboriculture who can be reached at (760) 728-4297.
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