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 then see the branch structure and plant shape. Most of our winters have stretches of moderate weather and temperatures, making it conducive to this type of light to moderate outside activity. And actually, trees often don’t react well to spring pruning, which can stunt their proper growth and impact their botanical wellbeing.
Ultimately, you prune to promote the natural shape of the shrub for optimal growth and plant health.
So where do you start? Well, first do your research. It is important you understand 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 small 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.
Step back to look at your work after every few trim strokes to assess your progress and help you balance the tree’s or shrub’s shape. Keep in mind, too, it’s not recommended to prune evergreens in the winter because this can cause tip burn.
One final piece of advice…make sure to disinfect your pruning tools between plants. This will help minimize the possibility of transferring any disease.
And, of course, LawnCare by Walter is more than happy to take care of your pruning needs this winter if you prefer. Call us and we will come and assess your tree and shrub pruning needs and provide you an estimate and a timetable…weather permitting, of course!