Winter Pruning? You bet!
Did you know 90% of deciduous plants can be pruned in the winter months? In fact, it’s much easier to prune after Old Man Winter settles in since you can now see the branch structure and plant shape! Ultimately, you prune to promote the natural shape of the shrub for optimal growth and plant health. In addition, the risk of disease and insect problems decreases as a result of the pruning wounds.
So where do you start? Well, first do your research. It's important you understand the proper pruning techniques. For example, make sure to prune back to a bud or branch. Also, remove the largest/oldest branches and then progress to the smaller ones. Start at the center of the tree to thin out and increase air circulation. However, never remove more than a quarter of the plant structure in one growing season as this may cause disfigurement and excessive sucker growth.
Another thing? Don’t rush! It’s important to take breaks and step back to look at your work to assess where you are. Keep in mind too, it’s not recommended to prune evergreens in the winter because this can cause tip burn.
One final tip…make sure to disinfect your pruning tools between plants. This will help minimize the possibility of transferring any disease.
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Have a great winter everyone and remember, We build great lawns from the ground up!