Dieback and drowning trees

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Yesterday we fought Ash dieback in some bigger trees. The owner really wants to keep them. We did our best to keep the road safe. I gave him the tip to contact 59 degrees Joe – how works with injecting microorganism into the soil around trees. He claims that he brought back vitality to ash with dieback.

I ask the customer to tell me if he got some help from 59 degrees. It would be highly interesting to see if it works. A colleague of mine says it’s just like giving the trees steroids, that the new fast and heavy growth will be heavy for the tree to bear. To me, that sounds more like the reaction you get from fertilizers. Maybe the microorganisms die off again in a couple of years, but I can’t see why healthy soil would bring the big, unstable cells in the tree tissue as too much nitrogen does.

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Today I pruned a walnut tree with a colleague. Before we did the reduction, I learned that walnut easily dieback after reductional pruning. We took it easy and I hope for the best. (Thinking of a heavier reduction I did to a walnut some weeks ago.) I hope I get the opportunity to come back to these trees and see how they react.

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I also got back to Drottningholm and got a new answer to the bad vitality of the limes. They are all probably drowning. Before the castle was built there was a forest here. Now it’s a wet pot with some trees spread out, not enough to suck up the water.


Ruin the kings trees


This week has been skylift and skylift. The work is to make ruins of old oaks (due to safety) and dead wooding limes. The trees are standing in the garden and surrounding park of the Swedish kings castle.


To me this looks a bit strange and unnatural, but they didn’t want coronet cuts on the trees outside the castle.

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Since the skylift was a bit too small (only 22 meters) we dropped each other off in the trees to reach the far and higher parts.

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I was dropped off in this one, tricky climb from low top to the outskirts of the highest limbs that where weight reduced. Big tree, had to reanchor for the rope to reach the ground.

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Took us two full days to deadwood this endless alley. I got good hang off the skylift maneuvering though.

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Further away from the castle we were able to do some nice coronet cuts. This particular cut isn’t my work. But I learnt a good way to do it on branches. Cut a deep, long X through the branch and then break it off, looks pretty natural.

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We talked about why all the limes looked so shabby. It might be that they are all the same age, just old. But it’s probably also some poor conditions, cause some of them are just long, small sticks covered with water shoots.

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So some trees where felled from the skylift, except the last stick that were taken down from the ground.

A nice way to take big logs with the lift is to make aiming cut and back cut. Then go up to the top of the limb and push it over.

But to put and old school rope in the top and pull also works fine for the last bit. And you get pretty pictures.



Take one, give one

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How to make a tree smaller.

Do you ever hear the client say “I would like you to make this tree smaller”? I always thought it would be fun to say that you have a shrinking machine. Then when they are on vacation, fell the tree and plant a new one of the same kind. I guess the people living here got a little bit of that experience.

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Hope this won’t be pruned as bad as the precursor. Then it will need replacement in a couple of years,

Cutest thing I have done this year


The “bird stump”

On this years SAF conference, we were shown how to create spaces and habitats in trees. This is one way to make room for wood living species and maybe for birds to breed.

The way to do this is to fell a tree and save one meter above ground/find a higher stump. (We felled a dead, doubblestem elm tree.)

Take a slize off it and save it. Then bore in from above with the chainsaw (this was a bit harder then I thought it would be, the angel makes it a bit heavy).

When you cut out a bit in the middle, bore in from the outside of the stump so you can lift the middel pice out.

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Make a small V-shaped cut in the upper edge of the stump to make an entrence for birds.

Place the slize back over the hole like a lid.

We also put a nail to hold the “lid” in place, you can still open it like a swing door to see if its beeing used or not. We did both the stems to bird boxes, but I don’t know if they like to stay this close thogheter.

It’s so fun to be able to make something that feels useful. This wensday we also did some more “safety prunings” in the woodland, where we left living high stumps and deadwood on the far side from the paths.

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This top was leaning just the right way so I took maybe 6 meters out in once.

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This was left to live and die slowly without harming anyone.


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This is the definition of a good morning.

Today I finally get to climb some trees again. (Nothing wrong with whitebeams and fruit trees, but a full week is a bit much.) I was also allowed to leave some deadwood and create cavities and tree ruins.

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Coronet cuts have finally got a Swedish official term, “grenbrotts snitt

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  High stem left for birds and insects.

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Before deadwooding, and relieving one unstable twin stem from some weight.

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Same tree afterwards.

Fruit of knowledge

The balance of pruning fruit trees is to decreace the watershoots and increace the fruitbearing sprouts, at the same time: make the tree look like a tree.


Fruit trees has normaly been cut before, the bad way. Yesterday a gentleman explained to me that he knows that it works fine to cut a apple tree in half,. “It grows a lot after doing that!”

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On the pictures you see a plum, that had been cut hard, the result was dubble stems, dead stems and enormous watershoots. But it haven’t died, and it may deliver some fruit.

I tried to reduce the watershoots, witch might effect the hormons in the tree, so it flowers more and give less growth on the hight.


You can never get enough of whitebeam reductions, can you?


This fella had three tops that were higher than the middle one. This tree is way too old for formative pruning, but it was going to be reduced all over, so why not give it a try.

Then we just did ridiculous amounts of whitebeams, I took some picture of some of them.


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I think the last two pictures is of the same tree, but it’s a bit hard to tell when the angel is different.



Old friends


Remember that I did this chestnut that warm week this spring. Lift, and maybe a crown clean? It didn’t have too much epicormic growth now.

Today we did smaller trees. An endless row of Whitebeams that was heavily reduced. As my colleague put it: Those trees are not going to look amazing.

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