Arbor Day is on Friday, and before we start wrapping our trees in fancy silk scarves and singing the nature song (sorry, I don't really know how Arbor Day works), it's important to make sure they're healthy.

If you're lucky, you have a tree or two on your property providing beauty, shade, and homes for countless creatures in New York. Sometimes, however, they need to be managed. Unruly branches can range from being nuisances to safety hazards. Here's how to make sure your pruned trees have been cut (and are healing) correctly.

Healthy Tree Pruning in New York

"Happy Arbor Week everyone! Hope you are having a tree-rific week leading up to Arbor Day this Friday... Today, let’s talk tree pruning!", said a recent post from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC). It turns out that a healthy prune is all about the "branch collar".

NYS DEC via Facebook
A newly-pruned tree branch (NYS DEC via Facebook)

The Long Healing Process of Tree Pruning

A "simple" branch cut on a tree takes only seconds to complete, but the healing process can take years. The photo above shows a tree that had been recently pruned by certified arborist and DEC forester Dan Gaidasz in February 2021. The fresh cut looks completely ordinary, but patience will reveal how the tree handled the pruning.

The "collar" forming around the pruned branch site means the tree is recovering from the cut (NYS DEC)
The "collar" forming around the pruned branch site means the tree is recovering from the cut (NYS DEC)

It's All About the "Collar"

Over two years later, the tree has developed one of the tell-tale signs of a healthy healing process: a branch collar. The collar (above) is named for obvious reasons, and is the beginning of the even longer process of the tree completely "covering" its wound. The photo below shows what a fully healed pruning site looks like.

A fully healed pruning site (NYS DEC)
A fully healed pruning site (NYS DEC)

Tree Pruning Tips from New York DEC

While some tree work like branch pruning seems simple, the NYS DEC always recommends finding a licensed professional for your tree care needs. Not only will a licensed professional get the job right the first time, but they are also insured against any mishaps that may happen along the way. Check out more great info on the best ways to care for your trees here, and keep scrolling to see one of the coolest New York treehouses below.

Rent This Magical, Romantic Tree House In Upstate New York

You can check out more photos and make your reservations HERE.

15 Top Upstate New York Nurseries and Garden Centers That Are Ready For Spring!

After Mother Nature gives us her usual parting slap, it is time to start thinking spring and thing flowers, gardens, yard work, and enjoying the planting season around your house. Here are 15 top garden centers and nurseries from the Hudson Valley to Buffalo that are ready and waiting just for you!