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Taking a little off the top

There's more to center-pruning, or thinning, trees than whipping out the clippers and whacking off a few limbs. Equipment such as a bucket truck is often needed to journey to the upper reaches, saws are required for the thicker limbs, and of course, the job requires knowledge and skill so the trees will look good, heal properly and remain healthy. Employees of Boen's Tree Service of Dunedin practiced their craft Monday at the 7-Eleven convenience store at 11505 Walsingham Road in Largo. Two trees _ a live oak ad a hickory _ were in need of their skills.

A properly pruned cut will heal itself quickly if left open to the air. Quick healing is necessary to protect it from disease and insects. Above the new cut shown here is an older cut that has healed properly, with a crown of bark and new growth around it.

Don Violette of Boen's Tree Service in Dunedin gives the heave-ho to a piece of an oak limb after removing it from the branches overhanging the roof of a 7-Eleven. Tree service employees were thinning a live oak and hickory tree Monday in Largo.

Don Violette gets a boost from a bucket truck to prune dead branches along the outer areas of the hickory tree.

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