The ridge is another important part of your tree's anatomy and is a natural way of assisting your tree's ability to block pathogens from entering pruning cuts.
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The ridge can be seen as a rough line of bark that separates the tissue of one branch from that of another, 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, your tree will naturally have some protection from disease. It is not necessary to paint, tar, or use chemical pesticides on a cut after pruning. The best way to avoid spreading disease during pruning is to make sure your tools are clean and sharp.
After pruning, make sure you inspect your trees regularly for symptoms of disease. If you are unsure how to treat for disease get some tips by visiting our organic pest control blog post. Sometimes, being able to classify a disease is enough to treat it correctly.