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Jack Frost No Deterrent to Tree Pruning

Winter may not be prime time to dabble in the garden. But it is a
good time for tree pruning – especially those that flower in the

summer. Not only are trees dormant in the winter, but it also is easiest to see a tree’s structure when no leaves are on the branches.

Proper pruning of your trees  and plants is vital to their health, in part because it helps relieve stress on trees and keeps them growing.   Just be aware that each tree is different,
and pruning at the wrong time or the wrong way can injure a tree or make it susceptible to disease.

Pruning helps keep surrounding areas safe for people and objects by removing frail branches. Too much pruning can create more problems than it solves, so it’s advisable to prune annually and lightly instead of all at once. When in doubt, consult a local  certified arborist for advice.

What to prune

Deciding what and where to prune involves an understanding of basic tree biology, sharp tools, and an artful eye. Where you make the cut is as important as knowing what to remove. There are a few
simple principles to understand before you prune:
–  Always have a purpose in mind before you cut. Removing dead or diseased wood, providing clearance, or improving shape or structure, are most common.

–  Proper technique is essential. Poor pruning technique can cause long term damage. Learn how to make proper cuts.

proper tree pruning cut

–  Small cuts do less damage to the tree than large cuts. Unlike people, tree wounds don’t heal, they close. Smaller cuts close quicker.

Other helpful tips:

–  Make cuts just outside the branch collar for quick wound closure.

–  Avoid leaving stubs.
–  Keep tools sharp and clean.

6 Comments
  1. Getting more than one estimate seems to help you decide which company can provide the best services for the cost. Great post.

  2. Not only useful advice but beautiful picture to go with it.

  3. Hi Lucy. Thanks. The picture is of the Common Sense Farm in Cambridge New York.
    It’s a beautiful place in all 4 seasons.

  4. Yes Winter is the best time to prune. Generally people prefer to prune their trees in winter so the tree care services raise thrie charges for the same. You can also DIY the pruning process with proper knowledge!

    • Down here on Cape Cod, most folks I know do not tend to raise the price for tree service in the winter.Perhaps this is because of the seasonal nature of the local economy.
      Yes with the proper understanding of what a tree needs and the knowledge of how to properly prune many folks could DIY with ornamental trees and shrubs. However, I would think that pruning of larger shade tree should be left to a trained climber/ arborist as it can be a high risk situation to climb into a canopy with a saw.

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