bird on tree in winter after pruning

Pruning Your Trees in the Winter

A common misconception during the winter is that you don’t need to care for your trees because their dormant state will keep them alive during these cold months.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Just like any other plant, trees are also susceptible to disease and health decline. If you’re looking to keep your trees healthy all year round, pruning during the winter will be the solution to your trees’ liveliness.

Why Do You Need to Prune During Winter?

Just like giving yourself a pedicure, pruning is the same concept, but on your trees. By removing dead branches, you’re promoting better health for your tree. Doing so also influences better tree growth during the spring and makes your trees less susceptible to insect infestation and disease.

Additionally, pruning is also a great way to make your trees look more appealing. Cleaning, shaping, thinning, pollarding, and restoring can be used to meet this objective.

Planning Your Pruning Methods

Although pruning might sound easy, you’ll need to plan everything out before jumping into action. Take into consideration the following items:

  • Type of tree: There are many different pruning methods depending on the trees that you have on your property, so do a little research to ensure you’re treating your trees with the utmost care.
  • Weather conditions: Safety always comes first. Make sure that you have the appropriate tools and attire to take on this heavy task.
  • Disposal: Once you’ve completed your tree pruning, you’ll have to properly dispose of the remaining shrub to avoid any mold or critters from ending up on your property.

How to Prune Trees

So, your trees have gone dormant and you’re ready to start pruning. You’ll need to first take some time to go out and assess your trees. Identify the major branches of the tree that make up the “skeleton”, and make sure you work around them.

If you don’t already have tools, you’ll need to stop by your local home improvement store and purchase some of the following:

  • Lopping shears
  • Pruning saw with D grip
  • Pruning saw with crescent grip
  • Draw cut or scissor-action pruners
  • Electric chainsaw (do not use if you’ll be cutting above shoulder-level)

You’ll want to begin the pruning process by removing all broken, diseased, or dead tree branches. Start with the largest branch down to the smallest first. Prune as much as you can but never remove more than 25% of the branches on the tree.

Trees also need good air circulation through and around branches so find areas where there are branches that are crossing each other and remove a few. You’ll also want to remove any branches that are growing inward, toward the center of the tree. Once you’ve cleaned up all the branches, you’ll need to begin shaping the tree and removing any areas that might be obstructing a walkway, growing onto a roof, or growing into the neighbor’s property.

There are many other things that come into pruning trees, especially during the winter. If you’re looking to keep your trees healthy during the winter and ready for the spring, call Front Range Arborists. We are glad to provide professional advice on caring for your trees as well as pruning services to take the hard work out of your hands. Reach out to the professionals at Front Range Arborists today.