| Plant working and analysis techniques

Nowadays in ornamental arboriculture, tree climbing is the most widely used working technique..


Tree climbing is the technique and movement for the best final result. It is a method, in which you can directly work on the tree, analyzing the high and wide foliage and avoiding soil compaction, caused by heavy elevators or cranes. Excellent preparation and appropriate equipment are necessary for tree-climbing. Our tools are always well sharpened and disinfected so as not to transmit any plant-to-plant diseases.

The VTA (Visual Tree Assessment)

The VTA in arboriculture is a modern investigation method used to evaluate the plant stability. It is able to display external symptoms and internal defects.

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| Plant parts and main functions

1. Main organs of a plant
2. Damaged root system of a Quercus Robur with damage to the aerial part
3. Main organs of a branch

I would like to start by saying that trees are “autotrophic”: they are able to feed themselves by using solar power organic substances from the soil. A plants’ body is composed by different organs with certain functions. Mostly we will talk about conservative organs, which keep the plant alive and help it grow. Roots lie underground; they feed and anchor the tree to the ground. They can be divided into support and absorbents roots. The support ones have an anchor function, whose dimensions change according to the soil where they are planted. Absorbent roots, on the other hand, suck the sap from the soil and grow to the extremities of the woody roots: they are the so-called root hairs and are generally found at a depth of thirty to forty centimeters. These roots will expand according to tree and soil size; they often live in symbiosis with fungi. These are the mycorrhizae that, thanks to this combination, enable the right exchange of water and sugars.

The greatest damage for trees are man-made injuries (caused by excavations, paving, soil compaction, etc) in the vicinity of the root system which usually involves an irreversible deterioration for the tree itself. The stem supports the plant and raises the foliage above the ground. It moves nutrients to branches, leaves, flowers and fruits. The branches (primary branches, secondary branches and twigs), which make up the foliage, grow progressively from the stem. The buds are divided in apical buds if they are on top of a stem or a branch; side buds when they are at the axil of a leaf or a twig; leaf buds when they produce an axis of single leaves; floriferous buds if they grow only flowers; mixed if they produce both leaves and flowers; ready buds are those that are able to vegetate; and finally dormant buds are those that will develop in the following season from their formation. Leaves are very important for plants: they are vital for the nutritional functions, together with roots and the stem, so they are considered the lungs of plants.

The leaves are distinguished by their duration in caducous or evergreen. Fallen leaf plants are those that are stripped of their leaves; evergreen those plants that hold it for several years, never being without them.

| Planting

Once you have chosen the right and healthy plant and the place where you intend to put it, you can start with the plantation process. You will need an optimal habitat in order to start the planting process: land suitable for the plant; light exposure; good drainage, and non-constipated soil. Also important is the size of the hole, which must never be smaller than the size of the foliage. Therefore, seasons such as autumn and spring should be chosen, so as to avoid extreme cold or heat.

Be careful of the planting depth too; a too-deep planting can cause stress to the plant. Note that the ground must be at the same level of the collar (which is the area between the stem and the roots). Every tree needs water for the rooting phase. You must also prevent water from stagnating in the planting hole; indeed, it could rot the entire root system.

Talking about the planting place, we will need to take into account the future needs of the plant. We will need to pay attention to the volume of soil needed. Every single plant must have sufficient space available for its own unique needs, to avoid drastic pruning or demolition in the future.

The plant training is essential to grow the plant straight and it must always be done. It must be well anchored to the ground and it can’t be higher than a third of the entire plant. If the plant is small, training may not be necessary. Today we can make training systems with poles or innovate plot anchoring systems; that will avoid continuous care to the plant.


Upon regular request and authorisation, our company handles plants felling too, both in private and public gardens. With regards to tree felling, specific conditions, such as absence of damage to public or private buildings and public safety, are needed.

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| Pruning

1. Pinus pinea, before pruning
2. Pinus pinea during pruning
3. Pinus pinea after pruning
4. Restoration of Platani Acerifolia and conifers in a park in Montecatini Terme
5. Restoration of Platani Acerifolia and conifers in a park in Montecatini Terme
Pruning is an arboriculture practice used to eliminate or shorten branches, so as to achieve the desired length for the correct renewal of the plant. We need to keep in mind that pruning can be stressful for the plant; indeed, its nature is altered and any cut above 5 cm can cause damage to the entire structure, leading to infections, diseases and the development of parasites.
The vigorous tree reaction can mislead those who look at it from the outside. Very often plants try to strongly resist drastic pruning. Once cut, the branches grow back with great vigor but without order, weakened and in excessive numbers. All this adds to the shock caused by the light that filters with too much intensity, and causes sunburn and lack of nutrients.

| The cutters

1. Cedrus cutted
2. Cedrus cutted dead
3. Example of damage from cuttings: decayed wood with presence of fungi and parasites
4. Example of damage from cuttings: numerous adventitious branches, due to drastic pruning, which present a weak and dangerous insertion.
Have you ever noticed that sometimes the trees along the avenues, in public parks and in private gardens appear as a series of decapitated plants, without grace and the richest part of their leaves? And this happens even if they are tens of years old, majestic, strong and true monuments of nature. Well, you should know that there is a precise word that defines the clean and badly done cut, which truncates tree heads: it is called Topping.
You should learn it and use it at the right time to prevent it from being applied to trees and plants you care for. It comes from tearing up, a term that already sounds like something vandalistic. It is the improper use of a chainsaw by inexperienced arborists.

| Why pruning?

1. Intervention on the cutted Platanus acerifolia
2. The restructuring of the foliage provides for thinning of numerous branches

There are different reasons for pruning:

  • Elimination of overly thick vegetation that does not allow light and air to circulate inside the plant. Furthermore, this operation avoids accidental branches breaking due to meteorological phenomena such as strong wind and snow, and excessive humidity in some areas of the plant, which is the main cause of fungal attacks.
  • Different kinds of pruning:
  • Production pruning to promote flowering.
  • Young trees pruning, in order to grow a well-balanced foliage.
  • Cuttings or weather events damage-repairing pruning.
  • Reduction pruning of trees near buildings.
  • Lightening and cleaning branches - pruning of obstacles to ancient trees.

| How to prune?

1. Pruning cut point, which goes from the bark of the trunk (a) to the upper end of the branch neck (b).
2. Proper cicatrization
3. Wrong cicatrization
4. Stump of a broken or pruned branch is an excellent habitat for fungi and insects, which can also invade the remaining plant.
First of all we need to know the tree characteristics and its bearing, which branches should be removed or shortened, and how the cut should be made. After this we can proceed with pruning. Regarding the branches cut, it is important to know the insertion between these and the trunk. On this very spot, called the bark collar, protection barriers are formed. If the cut is done incorrectly the trunk will be compromised and will facilitate the proliferation of diseases within the plant. The healing callus will be the final verification of a good or bad pruning.

When the cut has been made far form the collar, and a stump is left over, the callus is no longer formed and it will result in the death of the cut branch. This will fuel pathogenic effects with serious consequences for most of the trunk. The shortening of branches must be done by using the cut return technique only on young branches and in proximity of a gem or of a lateral branch without leaving stumps.

| When should you prune?

1. Return cut example
2. Return cut example
The best time for pruning depends a lot on plant species. The most suitable periods are the end of winter, when there are no temperature drops, and in summer, when leaves reach their natural size. With regards to pruning for thinning and removal of broken, sick or dry branches, you can intervene in any season.

Stumps milling

Menichelli provides a service to eliminate tree stumps, with rapid interventions throughout the country.

Stumps are an easily visible obstacle, but above all they represent a serious phytosanitary problem for trees and shrubs bordering the stump. indeed, stumps are quickly attacked by fungi; they spread and attack healthy plants roots up to 40 meters from the same stump. Menichelli di Calenzano, Florence therefore offers a stumps milling service with drills of various power and reduced weight. They are capable of crumbling large size stumps up to 60 centimeters deep, without damaging the surrounding soil, as it would happened through the use of excavators or tractors.

The service offered by Menichelli thanks to the cutter stumps is therefore:

  • Total removal of the block without damage to underground cables, building works and turf.
  • We operate everywhere and quickly throughout the country
  • Access to reduced spaces without damage from compaction
  • Waste absorbed from the ground
  • No transport and unloading costs
  • No restoration costs
  • Great cost effectiveness compared to alternative systems