Pruning is a landscaping practice that consists of trimming off any branches, whether they are diseased tree limbs or not, as well as any other foliages. There are many good reasons for trees to be pruned, such as allowing any flow of light to expand to new areas, and for fire safety reasons. Pruning trees in the winter is the way to go. Although the spring and summer seasons seem to be the most appealing times of the year to prune your trees, there are a lot of risks that come with pruning trees in the warmer seasons. The tree’s branches are most likely occupied with leaves that can obscure one’s view of the nodes. Pruning in the warmer seasons may also harm the overall growth of the trees. Surprisingly, late winter serves as the perfect time to pull off a pruning job to rid yourself of any diseased tree limbs that may be disrupting any perfect landscaping vision.
Why Prune During Winter?
In some regions, specifically temperate regions, the winter season is the time of year when plants enter their dormant state. During a dormant state, a plant will no longer continue actively growing and will instead prepare for the cold weather. Because trees will have entered their dormant state, the perfect opportunity for pruning arrives. Pruning during the winter season allows trees to have any unwanted limbs or foliage removed without the tree wasting its energy on anything that will be removed. This leaves the trees plenty of energy to produce new, healthy branches when the spring season comes around. It is always important to attempt to identify what type of tree(s) is scheduled for pruning so that proper precautions can be taken and the tree(s) ability to grow in the future is not compromised.
Winter Pruning Tips
Identify all obstacles and potential risks before pruning (ex. power lines).
Attempt to use pruning techniques that encourage tree growth around obstacles and potential risks.
Prune on a day that is dry and mild. This prevents the spread of waterborne plant diseases or damage from cold temperatures.
Remove all unwanted small and lower branches to allow more light and airflow for your trees.
Always cut branches at the node (the point where one branch attaches to another).
Try to remove all diseased and dead branches first, unless they are helping maintain the overall structure of the tree.
Try to prune trees while keeping the overall goal of promoting a healthy future growth from the tree.