Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What is a Ridge?

The ridge is another important part of your tree's anatomy and assists in your tree's ability to block pathogens from entering after it has been pruned.

The ridge can be seen as a rough line of bark that separates the tissue of one branch from another off shooting one as shown in the images below.

Ridge on an Apple Tree
Ridge on a Peach Tree
The ridge can typically be seen on the top half of the fork and wraps around the crotch. 

Splitting a forked branch lengthwise will allow you to see that the ridge continues through the bark and into the wood. This separation between branches acts as a gate for blocking disease.

Section View of Ridge
As long as the ridge remains intact during pruning, the tree will naturally have some protection from disease. It is not necessary to paint, or tar a cut after pruning. The best way to avoid spreading disease during pruning is to make sure your tools are clean and sharp.

For more information regarding the pruning terms used in this post, visit our pruning page here.