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Sunscald Kills Cherry Tree After Improper Trimming

By removing the top of this Cherry Tree, harmful sun rays during summer caused a severe case of sun scald.” class=Tree pruning is important for tree health, safety and of course beauty.  But, in the wrong hands, it can lead to undesirable consequences. Such was the case for a Cherry Tree that was topped and stripped of a large portion of its canopy in the middle of summer by an inexperienced tree service company.

On a routine inspection, Drew Slousky, Giroud Vice President and ISA Certified Arborist’s noticed that the tree had developed a severe case of sun scald.   The top of its canopy had been removed and the tree was damaged beyond salvation.

Sunscald typically happens during the late winter and early spring months when the temperature fluctuates between warm and cold. As the tree warms up with the help of direct sunlight, the cells within the tree come out of dormancy.  When the temperatures drop again, those now fully functioning cells can freeze over and die. However in the case of this Cherry tree, the inexperienced tree company had topped the tree in the heat of summer and taken away its ability to shade itself.   No different than a human, direct sun exposure gave this tree such as severe sunburn that it began to decline.  Months later, it is almost dead.

While all trees can experience Sunscald, woodier trees and young saplings are most vulnerable Here are some ways to protect your trees from Sunscald:

  1. Never top a tree or remove more than 1/3 of its canopy at one time.
  2. In the winter, wrap the base of young saplings with white commercial tree wrap to deflect any direct sunlight, or indirect sunlight bouncing off of any snow on the ground.
  3. Mulch around the base of the tree to insulate your tree’s roots from rapidly fluctuating temperatures.

If you’re unsure how to adequately prepare yourself or your trees from the fluctuating temperatures that come in late winter and early spring, give Giroud Tree and Lawn a call and we can help you. Our trained tree care experts have an expansive knowledge on how to care for your trees all year round to make sure they’re protected no matter what season it is. Just give us a call today so we can give you peace of mind as we take care of your trees and lawn. 


Author: Cindy Giroud

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