Guide to Tree Pruning in Winter

November 18, 2021 2:55 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Like most other plants, trees go dormant in the winter. While you may have finished raking up the leaves that have come down during the fall season, your work isn’t done in your garden. Trees that bloom on new growth need to be pruned during the winter, so they’re primed for growth when warm temperatures arrive.

Read on to learn about why Watertown, MA homeowners should prune in the winter, as well as what cold-weather pruning tips can help you make the most of your efforts.

Why it’s wise to prune in winter

Savvy gardeners understand that tree pruning in winter is essential for the healthy growth of trees when springtime rolls around. After the leaves have fallen in autumn, trees take a winter rest until warm temperatures and abundant sunshine arrive.

There are many benefits to doing tree work in the winter, including:

  • Preventing disease: During the winter, disease agents like bacteria, fungi, parasites and insects are typically dead or inactive. If you prune during the winter, diseases are much less likely to be transmitted to your trees. Some trees, including elm and oak, are best pruned in winter to specifically minimize the spread of Dutch elm disease and oak wilt.
  • Preventing stress: Trees respond to pruning by stimulating new growth to close the wounds made by cutting. Since trees are dormant in winter, pruning won’t stimulate new growth until the tree has access to moisture, sunlight and nutrients. Tree pruning in winter gives trees time to heal before warmer weather brings out harmful pathogens and destructive insects.
  • Making better cuts: It’s hard to prune correctly when you can’t see what you’re doing. Once the leaves have fallen, it’s much easier to see the structure of your trees. You’re able to make better cuts in the right places to improve the shape, structure and overall appearance of trees.

The best way to approach tree pruning in winter

Trees that bloom on new growth should be pruned in winter or early spring at the latest. Follow these cold-weather pruning tips to prime your trees for healthy growth when the temperatures start getting warmer:

  • Always prune on mild, dry days. Not only is this more pleasant for you, but it also prevents trees and other plants from spreading waterborne plant diseases. It also prevents trees from taking damage from cold temperatures.
  • Don’t prune too early in the winter since the cuts you’ve made can dry out when temperatures get below freezing.
  • When you first start to prune, take out dead and diseased branches, especially those that have been harmed by winter’s ice and snow.
  • Prune all overgrown and smaller branches to let light and air reach the tree’s crown.

Following the cold-weather pruning tips described above helps prime your trees for growth when springtime weather makes its first appearance in Watertown, MA. Even though trees are strong, hardy plants, they require a delicate touch when it comes to pruning. Rather than risking the health of your trees, reach out to BBD Tree Service, and schedule winter pruning to protect their appearance and well-being.

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