UKTC Archive

RE: Holm oak tolerance to hard pruning

Subject: RE: Holm oak tolerance to hard pruning
From: Rupert Baker
Date: Oct 21 2020 12:24:02
An observation about this;  I mentally class trees - of most broadleaved 
species - as 'sprouty' or 'clean' - ie within their genetic makeup they have 
a tendency to readily produce dormant and/or epicormic buds, or they don’t. 
Most Q ilex seem to be towards the sprouty end of the spectrum, but I've seen 
some (it is a common species on the coast and inland down here in soft S 
Devon) which are pretty 'clean' - show little tendency to produce sprouts.  
And of course it depends on the age of the tree - the older, in general, the 
less responsive to hard pruning because the ratio of size to stored reserves 
decreases with age - for maiden trees anyway.

As an extra aside, I have often come across mature American Red Oaks - Q. 
borealis/rubra - with extensive epicormic growth from interior branches; 
lines of water-shoots rising vertically from large lateral limbs; I used to 
worry that it was a sign of stress, but it now seems to me to be a feature of 
some specimens...

Atb
Rupert

-----Original Message-----
From: uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info On Behalf Of Alastair Durkin
Sent: 21 October 2020 11:57
To: UK Tree Care <uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info>
Subject: RE: Holm oak tolerance to hard pruning

Jerry et al

Yes, I compiled it with Andrew Gale. Andrew wrote the body (mostly) and I 
compiled the table (mostly). It's intended for tree owners, as a basic guide, 
rather than professionals. If you want to delve deeply into the reaction of 
an individual  species to different types of pruning then I would look 
elsewhere. 

There is very little research out there for more than a few species. It’s a 
leaflet, so very general as you can imagine, particularly with regards to 
'how hard is hard!' The table was compiled via literature review and 
experience, but please don't ask me where the Holm Oak information was found. 

One thing I would say is that 'tolerance' is quite a broad term also isn’t 
it? Many trees will sprout prodigiously following pruning, but I'm not sure 
that makes them tolerant necessarily - unless you are a gardener, in which 
case the tree has been invigorated! We also tried to take into consideration 
things like susceptibility to disease, so the propensity for fungal 
colonisation and the relative impact as a consequence, following large wounds 
being created was also considered. Of course none of this qualification was 
explained - because it’s a leaflet. 

So, for a species such as Holm Oak, you might well expect a reasonable branch 
structure to develop over time after hard pruning, although my observation is 
that they struggle for quite some time, but you might not be so surprised to 
see various Ganoderma popping up also. 

Anyway, I hope that puts it into perspective.

Alastair

-----Original Message-----
From: uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info <uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info> 
On Behalf Of Jerry Ross
Sent: 21 October 2020 11:13
To: UK Tree Care <uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info>
Subject: Re: Holm oak tolerance to hard pruning

While requesting no smart comments about innuendo, how hard is 'hard' ?

I wouldn't expect a holm oak to respond well to pollarding (at least if it's 
at all mature); and if moderately severe pruning doesn't kill it but 
subsequent regrowth leaves it looking awful, would that constitute a 'poor' 
response?

However, with regard to your question, is there ANY specific research that 
covers the range of species in the AA guide, as opposed to the collected 
experience of professionals that I assume that list is based on? (I see the 
guide was co-authored by Alastair Durkin, of this parish, so perhaps he can 
comment...)


On 21/10/2020 10:53, Jasper Fulford-Dobson wrote:
The Arb Assoc state that holm oak shows "poor" tolerance to hard pruning in 
their Guide to Tree Pruning leaflet. Does anyone know of any specific 
research that supports this as my experience generally suggests otherwise? 
Thanks in advance.











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The UKTC forum is supported by Bosky Trees arboricultural consultancy and
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https://www.stockholmtreepits.co.uk