Although we often associate flourishing canopies as an indication of good health for our trees, there are many situations where it is necessary to limit size and volume — particularly in urban environments.
Physically trimming back growth has traditionally been the primary means for controlling the size of trees, but this process can become costly. For example, trees in cities often require constant pruning to avoid growing into power lines, and many times the space available is very limited.
To reduce the amount trimming necessary, chemical growth regulators were developed that can effectively inhibit tree growth while also providing several beneficial side effects.
The most obvious benefit of growth regulators is to reduce the amount of pruning that is required on a tree’s canopy. Application of growth regulators can cut down on new shoot growth by up to 90 percent, meaning a tree that usually grows several feet a year might only grow a few inches.
Additionally, research has found reduced trunk and branch diameter in treated trees, which is particularly good news for city trees planted along streets.
Limiting the size of tree trunks can help prevent damage to curbs and sidewalks, which can be a significant expense for cities when trees outgrow their limited space.
Root & Leaf Enhancement
When the growth of shoots is slowed, the energy that typically goes into growing twigs and shoots is redirected to other areas. Some of the most beneficial is the stimulation of fine root development and increased chlorophyll production in leaves.
Improving root density has several positive effects, including increased water & mineral absorption. More chlorophyll leads to healthier leaves that are a deeper green, enabling them to capture more energy from the sun.
A strong root system is crucial to maintaining a healthy tree, and increased energy capacity means the tree is able to recover more quickly from stress and damage – an important feature for trees in harsh urban environments or those affected by nearby construction.
Disease & Pest Protection
Trees treated with growth regulators also show an increased resistance to several common tree diseases and pests. Based in part on the tree having more energy to put into its defense systems, the changes to leaf structure also play a role in preventing bacteria and fungi from gaining a foothold.
Growth regulators can provide numerous benefits to your trees, including:
- Reducing the amount of live wood pruning that must be performed
- Strengthening the root system
- Improving energy capacity and preventing disease
Consider these treatments if you live in an urban environment where trees may lack the required amount of space to thrive, you want to give a struggling tree a boost or your tree was damaged during construction.