tree pruning effects on lumber quality

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Forum topic by HokieMojo posted 04-30-2009 06:15 PM 985 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2104 posts in 3877 days

04-30-2009 06:15 PM

Topic tags/keywords: holly pruning lumber

I’ve got a question that I’m not sure anyone here will be able to help me with, but I’ll try anyway. I have a large holly tree growing in the woods behind my house. For a Holly, I’d say it is pretty large. While I’ve seen thicker trunks near some local farms (maybe 14 inches diameter), I havne’t seen any taller. This tree must be about 35-40 feet tall and the trunk is probably between 8-10 inches in diameter. Actually, two of it’s trunks are this size and the third is about 4 inches wide.

My problem/question comes from this. One of the trunks was pulled down when a small pine fell on it in a storm. It caused the trunk to bend so far that the top of that tree reached back down to the ground. I removed the pine many months after it fell, but the trunk was permanently bent. Now (another couple months have passed) the leaves are all dying. I think I need to cut off this trunk but I’m worried that I’ll damage the rest of the tree. Any advice would be appreciated.

I’d like to keep the tree alive any well as long as possible, but when it’s day finally does come, I’d like to mill some holly lumber out of it. In the meantime, I may try to mill up the dead bench for turners or to make small projects.

3 replies so far

View Sam Yerardi's profile

Sam Yerardi

244 posts in 4044 days

#1 posted 04-30-2009 08:24 PM

If you have a county extension agent available in your area, I would have them look at it. Disease could have entered the damaged part of the tree (which either led to the death of the branch or allowed it to enter after the fact. If you can’t find someone to look at it, I don’t have any experience with holly, but I’ve had success with using sealers such as PET or even pouring melted wax over a fresh cut branch area of a tree to prevent insect and/or disease infestation.

-- Sam

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 4063 days

#2 posted 04-30-2009 09:48 PM

In general removing dead limbs should not hurt a tree. As Sam says above, you may want to seek advice of what to do with the resulting wound.

I had some holly when I lived in Texas and every few years I would butcher it because it was being used as hedge and was getting out of hand. My experience with holly is that it is very hardy and forgiving and in Tx, almost impossible to kill.

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3877 days

#3 posted 04-30-2009 09:55 PM

thanks guys. my main concern is letting fungus in that would stain the white color that I hope to utilize someday. I try and look into your advice, but any more experience would be appreciated. Even if it wasn’t on holly lumber, I’d like to know if lumber cut from trees that were previously delimbed would have any staining.

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