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Should I have my trees wind-sailed?

What is wind sailing?

Wind sailing is a branch thinning pruning technique done by removing branches to reduce the overall foliage of a tree. The process is marketed as making trees safer by allowing the wind to more easily pass through the branches of a tree.

Why is it so controversial?

Although the practice seems sensible, there is compelling evidence that a tree’s outer limbs actually divert wind from the center of the tree and act as a wind barrier. The more limbs the tree has, the greater the protection they provide. Furthermore, when enough branches are removed, the remaining branches become more vulnerable to the elements. Windsailing is harmful to the tree in the long run.

What do I do if I’m concerned about a tree failing in a windstorm?

Occasionally take a health check of your trees. Are there obvious cracks in the trunk? Is the tree leaning? Do you notice signs of rot or decay? These are signs to pay attention to. Most mature trees, as long as there has not been previous damage or disease, are usually able to withstand even the fiercest winds. It is also good practice to prune low-hanging branches and dead or weak limbs.

If you feel that your tree is a hazard, please contact us.

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