Did you know that winter is one of the best times to prune many types of trees and shrubs? It’s true! Here’s how winter pruning works, and why winter is such a great time to consider pruning back some of your overgrown plants!
How to Do Winter Pruning
Most homeowners can do winter pruning with basic pruning shears and a reliable ladder. Some thicker branches may require a handsaw, but most pruning focuses on smaller branches. The key is knowing what trees you can prune in winter without damaging them.
Briefly, common trees pruned in winter without ill effect include crabapples, poplars, spruce, juniper, cypress, and honey locusts, as well as fruit trees such as pear trees, cherry trees and plum trees.
When it comes to common shrubs, you can trim hydrangeas, barberries, camellias, mallow, beauty berries, camellias and similar bushes.
With both trees and shrubs, it’s important to wait until all growth has visibly died down and the plant has clearly gone dormant for the winter. This means that it is safe to start pruning without worrying about causing too much damage. And remember, if you are climbing on a ladder to prune, have a buddy with you for safety and to help clean up fallen branches.
Why Winter Pruning is a Good Idea
- It’s a lot easier: In winter, deciduous species have lost their leaves – it’s an obvious fact, but think about how much easier that makes pruning! The branches are much easier to see, your pruning tools are easier to move around, and without any leaves there’s a lot less debris to deal with.
- Dormant trees: We mentioned this up above, but it’s an important point — trees that go fully dormant in winter are less reactive to damage. They suffer less shock and make recoveries more easily in the spring.
- Frozen ground is helpful: Typically, you don’t want to trample down soil near shrubs and trees — it’s not healthy for the roots, and may cause other problem with irrigation and more. In winter, the ground may be frozen or at least more resistant to human feet, making it a better time to work around your plants.
- Winter storm protection: Those branches that need pruning tend to also be the branches that can be broken off during a storm and do damage to roofs, windows, and other parts of your home. They are better off removed now before they cause any trouble later on.
Need some help with your pruning job? Professional landscapers with pruning experience can help deal with more delicate trees successfully: They know what branches to prune, which to leave, and how to make a cut that the tree can successfully heal from. Call The Natural Way to get your tree pruning service scheduled!