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Common Tree Myths

Cherokee Tree Care is a team of trained professionals and Certified Arborists. We get a lot of questions from our customers about their trees, but there are a few we hear more often than others. There are some common tree myths we’d like to “debunk”. Here are some of the most common tree myths we hear and some insight on the truth.

1. When is the best time to prune trees?

cherokee tree faq

Some people have heard that there are certain seasons you should prune your trees. That you should only prune trees depending on when the sap is flowing. Others think we can’t prune trees in the winter, while some think we can only prune trees when they are dormant. All of these are misconceptions. Timing of pruning is not as important as following these 3 rules of pruning:

  • The leaf is the tree’s food factory, so try not to remove more than 25% of the foliage in any given pruning.
  • How and where you make the pruning cut is much more important than when—winter, spring, summer, fall.
  • Make smaller diameter cuts if possible. Trees seal over wounds (pruning cuts) by adding new growth, so smaller cuts close faster.

There is one exception to the timing of pruning that pertains to a couple of tree species. Oaks and Elms should not be pruned during the growing season because of susceptibility to Oak Wilt Disease and Dutch Elm Disease.  All other trees can be pruned year-round. Contact us about our pruning services.

2. Can I get rid of the gumballs from my Sweetgum?

gumball removal

Maybe you moved into a house that already had a Sweetgum on the property. Maybe you loved the fall foliage but didn’t realize how big of a hassle the cleanup from their fruit would be. However you ended up with a Sweetgum tree, we always get numerous phone calls asking if we can treat these trees to rid of the spikey gumballs with which they litter your yard.

There are a couple of products on the market that claim to get rid of the gumball fruit. Owner Tim Crews has tried these products in the past and this is what he has found. There is an injectable product that only has about 30% effectiveness. There is another sprayable product that requires precise timing with a window of about a week to treat. This product is very expensive and extremely corrosive to paint on houses and cars. For this reason, we don’t offer either of these treatments to our customers.

If you can look past the Sweetgum’s fruit litter, they are great trees and until there are better treatments to offer our customers, the gumballs will just have to stick around.

3. If my tree has a pest or disease are my other trees going to get it?

plant health tree diseases

When you get a report that one of your trees has a pest or is diseased, you may worry about your other trees “catching it”. While there are a few pests that love a wide variety of species, most insects and diseases are species-specific. The Needlecast Disease that is infecting your Blue Spruce will not spread to your Maples and the Emerald Ash Borer won’t destroy your Pine trees.

A trained professional will know how to identify your trees and know which pests and diseases they are susceptible to. We will also know when these pests emerge and when we can treat them. There is no blanket treatment for every property. We can write up a Plant Health Care plan that is specific to your property and tree’s needs.

Our goal as a tree care company is to educate our customers. There are a lot of misconceptions about trees, but knowing the truth is important for knowing how to best care for them. Give us a call if you are interested in talking to an arborist about how to best care for your trees and stay tuned for part 2 of common tree myths.