Arboriculture at Chickasaw Regional Correctional Facility


There’s a first time for everything! MSU Urban and Community Forestry Extension was invited by Dr. Scott Cagle (Chickasaw County Extension Coordinator) and the Chickasaw Regional Correctional Facility to give a talk about the arboriculture and tree surgeon professions to inmates at the facility. The presentation lasted around one hour and focused on what arborists and tree surgeons do, the differences between arborists and tree surgeons, certification, education, and state regulations allowing convicted felons to work in the tree care industry. We also covered some basics on pruning, tree establishment, support systems, emergency tree care, tree health care, and tree protection in construction zones. The students paid close attention and seemed to enjoy the session. We hope they are able to benefit from the information at some point in the future.

Just Say No To Topping

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Topped Osage orange under utility line (Starkville)

Tree topping is when the top of the tree is shaved off with no consideration for how the tree’s future growth will be impacted. Utility companies often top trees to make room for lines; however, the tree should not have been planted in that location in the first place. The home owner is responsible for removing the tree and replanting with a tree that fits the space. In other cases, home owners often feel that their trees have become too large for their property, so they aim to make them smaller. We see this a lot with crape myrtle (sometimes called crape murder in the South). Topping actually increases the potential that the tree will become a hazard in the future. Because the pruning cuts are not in the right places (i.e., not at the branch collar where the tree naturally repairs and heals itself), weak limbs are develop in response. A strong storm can cause these weak structured branches to break. A good arborist will never suggest or recommend to top
a tree.

Name This Tree

Koelreuteria paniculata

This tree is a native of Asia and is an invasive species in some states. It is a small to medium sized tree with yellow flowers and bladder-like pods that start green, then ripen to orange in the fall. They contain small black seeds. What is this tree?