So, why is TecBrat writing about trees? Because one of my clients is an arborist and writing about them is beneficial to them and gives me content for my blog.
That client, Mid Florida Tree Service, has a larger list of Tree Service FAQ if you'd like to read more about this topic.
The first question is about pruning. Why bother?
First off, let's be sure to specify that when we say "Pruning", we are NOT talking about the destructive practice of topping, tipping, heading or de-horning your tree. (These are all terms used for removing large sections from the crown of a tree.) Proper pruning can help balance a tree and prevent disease by removing dead or dying branches. Dead wood is an invitation to pests that might spread to the healthy parts of a tree.
What about Spanish moss? Don't you hate how it cloggs up your tree?
Actually, it's not really moss. It's an air plant and does not harm your tree. It anchors in the bark, but does not steal nutrients. It's not really Spanish either. It's native to Florida (where TecBrat and his clients are), and therefore a natural part of the ecosphere. The trees and the "moss" were meant to live together. On a healthy tree, the moss coverage will balance itself. Attempts to remove the moss are likely to actually damage the tree, so should be avoided or minimized.
Is mistletoe okay then?
Absolutely not! Mistletoe is a parasite and will kill your tree if it isn't removed. If you find mistletoe on one of your trees, contact a qualified arborist to ensure it is erradicated.
Should I cover cuts and fill voids in my trees?
No and No. The old advice was to cover any cuts with a heavy coating of wound dressing, but research proved this to be unnecessary or even harmful. Tress are a living organism and shed branches naturally. They'll heal themselve if left alone. Voids (holes) present another problem. Moisture can get trapped inside a filled void and allow fungus and other organisms to thrive, putting the tree in danger. You're better off allowing the void to remain so that moisture does not accumulate around the filling.
For more Q&A on trees, let me direct you again to my client, Mid Florida Tree Service