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Tulip tree pruning

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When is the Best Time to Prune a Tulip Tree?

When should you prune a tulip tree? Why is tulip tree pruning so important? And what diseases and pests most commonly affect the tulip tree? For all the knowledge you need, read on…

The tulip tree, Liriodendron tulipifera, is an eye-catching tree noted for its unusual and almost stately shape. Its common name comes from its green and orange tulip-shaped flowers which appear only on mature trees of at least ten years of age. Even without flowers, this is a particularly attractive tree, with glossy dark green leaves that transform into spectacular shades of yellows and reds throughout the autumn.

The tulip tree, native to North America, is deciduous and is derived from the Magnolia family. It grows vigorously to heights of up to 30 metres and will usually spread more than 8 metres, often up to 15 metres. The tree tolerates pollution very well which makes it very popular as an urban tree which is often found in parks and public gardens. It is also known for its pollen which produces excellent honey.

Why prune a tulip tree?         

Tulip trees are known for their prolific growth which means regular pruning is essential to keep them looking their eye-catching best throughout the year.

The branches of the tulip tree are brittle which makes them something of a hazard to passers-by, so it is vital that any dead or weak branches are pruned out as soon as they are detected.

It’s also a good idea to undertake a thorough thinning of the tree every few years to keep it generally under control. The branches can grow to quite a length if left unattended-to.

Crown thinning is a good idea if the crown becomes too heavy, which is also fairly common with the tulip tree. Thinning serves to remove any dead wood so that the leaf-bearing branches are given the freedom to develop.

When is the best time for tulip tree pruning?

General tidying of the tree is best done in April. This is the time to remove any branches that have been damaged by frost or have broken during winter winds and storms.

The best time for pruning back long branches is June. Do take care though not to tear the thicker branches as this can cause damage to the tree. Crown thinning is also best undertaken in the summer.

What to look for when pruning a tulip tree

The tulip tree is fairly pest and disease free, although it can be susceptible to canker diseases and the poplar leaf-rolling weevil, Byctiscus populi, although the weevil is only generally a problem in southern parts of England. Whilst the weevil is not particularly dangerous to the tree and is fascinating to watch, it does of course spoil the appearance of the glossy foliage with its leaf-rolling habit.

Tree Preservation Orders

You should never go ahead with any tree work without first checking whether there is a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) in operation. Where there is, you will need to apply to the local authority for permission to carry out works. Bear in mind that this could take up to eight weeks to be provided. Also, if the tree is located in a conservation area, you will need permission before undertaking works of any kind.

The importance of tulip tree pruning expertise

If you are eager to ensure your tulip tree is taken care of in the best way possible then you should never proceed without first consulting with a suitably qualified and experienced tree surgeon.

Tree surgeons undergo intense training before they are awarded their qualifications. They know precisely how to undertake tulip tree pruning using the correct methods at the right time of year, and know exactly how to identify diseases and pest infestations and resolve with them effectively so that the good health of the tree is maintained.

When you are looking to engage a tree surgeon, you should always ask to see checkable references and certificates so that you can be sure they actually hold the qualifications they claim to. Also request their insurance documents so you know you are covered for the work being undertaken: a good tree surgeon won’t mind at all if you ask for any of these details. Also, where possible, try to engage a tree surgeon with Trading Standards and local authority approval so that you can be reassured of the highest possible quality and value for money.

If you have a tulip tree that needs expert pruning, why not contact T.H. Tree Services? As fully qualified and highly experienced Trading Standards and local authority approved tree surgeons, we can offer specialist knowhow in all aspects of tulip tree pruning. For a free, no-obligation quotation, get in touch with our helpful experts on 01268 642814 or get in touch here.

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Polite, professional and tidy.The team were punctual, very polite, kept me well informed of what they were doing, anything I asked them wasn’t an inconvenience.Service with a smile and the tidy up job was fantastic too.I would certainly recommend TH Tree services and happily use them again.

Hi Mrs Easton, thank you for leaving a lovely review. The team are really pleased they come across professional and friendly.

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