Dead Wood, Moss & Mistletoe Removal | Tree Trimming & Pruning
Dead Wood Removal
One of the common reasons for pruning a mature tree is to remove dead branches. Removing dead wood improves both the health and beauty of the trees. Dead wood provides a path for insects or infections to enter the main trunk of the tree. The removal of dead wood can help protect your trees against disease, insect infestation, long term decay, and safety or fire hazards.
Dead branches pose a safety risk as they can cause damage to both people and property when they eventually fall. This damage is a preventable problem that should be addressed before the limb falls. Dead limbs should also be removed before hurricane season to prevent them from turning into wind-blown missiles.
Florida trees are home to several types of moss including Spanish moss, commonly found on Live Oaks or Bald Cypress and ball moss, which is also found on Live Oaks and other shade trees. While moss does not pose a direct health threat to your trees it can be an unsightly nuisance and removing it can improve the look of the trees.
Several additional reasons to remove moss from your trees are:
- Moss blocks the sunlight necessary for the tree’s growth.
- Moss absorbs large quantities of water so less water will make it to the tree’s roots and soil. This can be a problem during a drought.
- Spanish moss is known to harbor a number of undesirable insects.
Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that grows attached to and penetrating within the branches of a tree. It can weaken or destroy the trees it infests, especially if the tree has been compromised by pests, storms, or old age. Mistletoe can be cut out of the tree canopy and removing mistletoe may help revive the tree. Alternately, a spray containing the plant growth regulator, ethephon, can be used as a selective mistletoe management spray. Its use on local trees has been approved by the EPA. (Dan Culbert, Okeechobee County Extension Service)