Winter Tree Pruning Tips

What to Cut This Season

Now that it’s the season to prune some of your trees and shrubs, you may be asking, how? Here are some winter tree pruning tips to get you started.

Winter Tree Pruning Tips

For most trees and shrubs, late winter or early spring is the best time to prune. The plants are dormant, so there’s less stress. Leaves are gone to make it easier to see. Then, when the weather starts to warm the trees will be ready to put energy into putting out new, healthy shoots.

Before you start, make sure you can answer yes to each item on this checklist:

  1. Is it a relatively mild, dry day? You don’t want to prune at extreme temperatures or when fresh cuts will get wet. This increases the risk of damage and disease. Plus, it’s a nicer experience for you.
  2. Do you have the right tools? There are many different types of pruning shears. Ones for thin branches, thick branches, and tall branches too. Make sure you have the right equipment and it’s clean and sharp so you get clean cuts.
  3. Can you reach the branches with both feet planted firmly on the ground? If not, you should call a professional. You don’t want to get up on a ladder with a sharp instrument and risk falling and injury.

Time to Prune

Once you’re ready to start, here’s another list to follow:

  • First, prune the dead and diseased branches. These can be pruned any time of year. Depending on how many there are, you’ll want to work on reshaping your tree or shrub next.
  • Remove lower branches on all evergreens.
  • Help increase light and air at the crown of the tree by removing overgrown and smaller branches.
  • Cut branches at the point where it attaches to another.

You’ll want to keep the branches that develop or maintain the structure of the tree. If any of these are broken or under stress, you may want to think about bracing options.

Not So Fast

There are some trees and shrubs that shouldn’t be pruned this time of year. Typically, plants that bloom on new growth should be pruned in the winter and early spring, but those that bloom on old growth should be pruned after the flowers fade in late spring or summer.

For more information on the right tools, time, and type of plants to prune this winter, contact Elite Tree Care. We can also help with trees too tall to properly prune yourself.

Tree Pruning Guide

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Learn how, when, and how much to trim or prune your trees to maximize their health and beauty. This guide covers the factors that go into tree trimming (pruning) and will help you make a more informed decision about hiring a professional tree service.