Versailles Cigar

One of the common names for a salvaged Northern Catalpa tree next to my driveway, and it’s common name is also a misnomer, is: “Cigar Tree”. It’s leaves are, however, not tobacco and they contain no alcaloidal chemicals like nicotine. Years ago, Bop felled the tree from a standing position; thinking it was unsightly. Discussion about stump removal flush to the ground was causal of our decision to await spring regeneration. That anticipated regrowth has occurred seasonally since. We continue to remove vertical growth and we have been keeping it under around 6′ in height for about three years now since it’s first severe pruning.

This all began with Bop’s felling of the strange 8′ high and shrub like tree. Subsequently, each winter we have pruned off all but about a foot of the previous growing season growth. I have since repeated the process with three red maples of similar trunk diameters and greater height, and, one of them is struggling to regenerate as the other two have died and will be completely removed.

Yet, I believe the vegetation mortality is because I felled the maples in midwinter rather than in early spring when there would have been greater vitality in the vascular cambium for a spring and summer regeneration of branches and leaves.

The plan is to improve my process and fell another three ~4″ diameter maples at a comfortable standing chainsaw height, or with a demolition or arboriculture blade on my Makita cordless reciprocating saw. I attest to a reciprocating saw with demolition blades as being a superior mechanism for light arboreal processes that exceed the capacity of shears. Especially when a capable Husqvarna Rancher with a 20″ bar (perfect for half or quarter split cordwood diameter firewood log trees.) …is more saw than needed for light arborculture, and a more serious chainsaw for timber log dimension felling should only be used by a logger seeking local mill logs at or around the 16′ common board foot log length for Scribner rule stock of over perhaps a foot in diameter. Chainsaw safety is essential, especially if with saws larger than a Husqvarna Rancher, and in truth almost all chainsaws should be used only by a true professional and then, to benefit ecology, only when the benefit of 4″-10″ diameter cordwood trees or larger standing timber tree harvest of board foot timber log harvest outweighs maintenance of acorn, hickory, and walnut production which equates to a food source for desirable species like white tail deer or wild turkey, and for small mammals subsequently predated upon by carnivorous wild felids and canids and raptors.

Gardening tool belt pouch and reciprocating saw with arborculture wood cutting blade.

Returning to our Cigar Tree discussion; the plan is to fell additional red maples because of our success, and to fell them at just under DBH, (Diameter Breast Height is a forestry measurement important when using the “Big Sick” in judiciously applying the Biltmore Stick log height cruising capacities and the Scribner Log Rule on felled logs or with the yard stick in cases of standing timber.)

This Estival solstice to Vernal equinox timeframe DBH felling of small maples, like our Cigar Tree process, will generate regrowth of vegetation to promote herbaceous regeneration via the vital vascular cambium. The regrowth will be pruned each year subsequent to the Hibernal solstice in a process to enhance the function of vascular cambium relative to felling and pruning given seasons of landscaping beauty. Regeneration pertaining to felling seasonality pertains to optimal evapotranspiration potential cutting times for the sap run and also to the traditional aesthetics of fall cleanup time.

Maple DBH felling, regeneration, and pruning pertain directly to what I postulate can be termed an arboreal cultivation of “Versailles Maples”. And, trees predisposed to this evapotranspiration functionality in their vascular cambium can subsequently be maintained via arbory with a stipulated trunk height and sculptural boughs of desirably proportioned herbaceous aspect.

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