Current issue: 53(4)
Pruning growing trees influences tree growth and value of the wood and yield of timber of the stand. Pruning living branches create open wounds on the stems that can risk the growth of tree species that are vulnerable to injuries. For instance, pruning has been shown to cause decay in Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.), while Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) can quickly heal over the branch scars. Pruning of living branches reduces the crown, the effect of which remains small if only the lowest branches are pruned. Pruning of dry branches has little effect on the health of the tree. The main objective of pruning is to improve the quality of timber. Knottiness decreases strength and appearance of timber. Pruning increases the yield of knot-free sapwood, which is especially valuable in veneer timber. Pruning is, therefore, at present most suitable for birch and aspen which are used in veneer industry. In both species pruning should be directed mainly to dry branches.
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