Of all the plants on your property, established trees probably require the least amount of maintenance in the bunch. As long as they’re getting enough water, you can usually get through the growing season with just the occasional application of mulch or fertilizer. The one care task you do need to prioritize when it comes to keeping trees strong, healthy, and beautiful? Pruning.
If you’re a homeowner who’s new to landscaping, or new to caring for trees specifically, you might be surprised to learn that the best time to prune trees is actually in the winter. What makes the dormant season ideal for tree pruning? Let’s take a look!
It’s easier to see and shape the structure of your trees in the winter.
When leaves, flowers, fruit, and other vegetation are gone from a tree, its branch structure becomes more visible. Winter barrenness makes it easier to identify which areas of your trees need to be pruned and where to make cuts to get your desired shape. In spring, foliage can obstruct your view and cause you to make a mistake or miss a diseased branch that can lead to long-term health issues.
Maximize growth for the spring.
After a pruning, trees need time to heal their wounds before producing new growth. When you prune in early to mid-winter, this gives them almost an entire season to recover. Plus, the energy they conserve while dormant will allow them to rejuvenate faster as well. This gets them in excellent shape for spring and jump-starts new growth.
Minimize the spread of disease.
Just like many of your plants, bacteria, fungi, parasites, and insects that cause and spread disease in trees die or go dormant for the winter season. Because they’re not active this time of year, pruning now is less likely to transmit pests and diseases via pruning tools. Pruning cuts are also less likely to be infected as they heal in winter.
Pruning in winter makes your property safer.
Weak, diseased, and/or dead tree branches are extremely vulnerable to harsh winter weather conditions. All it takes is wind, snow, or ice from one strong storm to knock them to the ground. Fallen tree branches can damage power lines, other trees on your property, other landscape features, your house itself, or worse, injure someone. Pruning weakened branches safely yourself will prevent any damage or injury.
Winter tree pruning is more efficient.
Better structural visibility allows you to prune trees more quickly in the winter. Plus, since you have fewer landscaping tasks to worry about at this time of year, you’ll have more time to devote to your trees anyway. If you choose to hire a professional to prune your trees, time saved for them equates to money saved for you. It will also be easier and safer for professional trimmers to use any heavy equipment, such as an aerial lift, on frozen ground.
Improve the look of your winter landscape.
The dormant season doesn’t leave much to look at as far as landscape aesthetics go. Your bare towering trees may be all your lawn has left. The healthier they are, the more attractive your property will look. Additionally, your trees will maintain that attractive shape and structure for their growing season too, making your spring blooms even fuller and more well-rounded.
If you’re looking for an efficient and convenient solution for keeping your trees in good shape for the winter, the grounds management team at VistaPro Landscape & Design has you covered! Our grounds specialists can complete a wide range of landscaping services, including expert tree pruning, to keep your landscape looking lush and healthy in all seasons.
To learn more about the various grounds management services we offer, get in touch with a member of our team today!