Pruning your trees might be just about the last thing on your mind this winter. The cold weather, accumulated snow and shorter days make this a relatively low priority task, but winter pruning actually comes with its fair share of advantages. Correct pruning from the period of mid-December through mid-March can enhance the health of tree and shrubs, in addition to improving their aesthetics and resilience. Plus, it’s also easier to prune a plant without its leaves, as you will have an unobstructed view of the branch structures. The likelihood of spreading diseases from one plant to another is also reduced drastically with winter pruning.
Approximately 90 percent of pruning can be completed during the winter, as this is when trees and shrubs head into dormancy. This will actually boost new growth once the weather warms up again. Follow these tips to make the most out of winter pruning:
- Have a clear purpose: Know exactly what you want to do before you start tree trimming in Watertown, MA. Typically, the pruning should focus on promoting a natural style where low-branching trees aren’t limbed up and tall shrubs are not sheared or topped. The outline of the tree should appear well-maintained, but still look natural. Ideally, it should look like you didn’t do anything to the tree at all!
- Remove dead and sickly branches: First, cut away any diseased or dead branches. Then, your focus should shift to removing any unbranched stems from the base of the tree; these are known as “suckers.” These should be removed, as the suckers typically don’t develop into well-branched limbs. Cutting them away now will help maintain a healthy shape with minimal tree trimming in Watertown, MA.
- Cut crossing branches: Any crossing or rubbing branches should be removed. Most professionals will recommend starting with the larger branches before making your way to the smallest. Don’t remove any limbs that would make the tree appear disfigured if removed.
- Thin the canopy: Your next step is to begin thinning the canopy, starting at the center. Thin any branches that are creating a dense mass in the center of the tree. This will increase the air circulation and actually improve the overall structure. Take special care to avoid removing more than 25 percent of the tree, as it can lead to sucker growth.
- Look for any infestations: Examine the tree closely for any signs of infestation, such as cocoons or egg sacs visible on the branches. Additionally, take the time to check for any lesions or lumps that could indicate a disease.
Schedule your pruning on a mild, dry day for the best results. Always contact a professional for tree pruning if you’re not comfortable completing the task yourself. The professionals at BBD Tree Service are here to provide you with a variety of tree services, including pruning, trimming, stump removal and tree cutting in Watertown, MA. Call us today for a free estimate on tree trimming this winter—we look forward to serving you!
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